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I am sure Virat can play until he is 44: Shoaib Akhtar

Akhtar also backed him to score 120 international centuries.

Shoaib Akhtar
Shoaib Akhtar of Pakistan. (Photo by Tom Shaw/Getty Images)

The former Pakistan cricketer Shoaib Akhtar believes that only Virat Kohli can break the record of 100 international centuries of Sachin Tendulkar. The Indian skipper recently completed 50 tons at the highest level after scoring an unbeaten 104 against Sri Lanka at the Eden Gardens in the recently concluded first Test. However, the speedster of Pakistan feels that the Superman of the Indian will be able to play until the age of 44.

Kohli has been in exceptional across formats and has dominated the bowlers this year. He has already scored 35 centuries in One-Day Internationals and is only second to the master in the format. But he endured a relatively lean run in the longest format of the game this year.

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He is a modern-day great

Shoaib Akhtar, like many other experts, was all praise of the Indian captain while speaking to Khaleej Times. But he admitted that it was wrong on his part to compare Kohli with Tendulkar and termed him as a ‘modern-day great’. “Virat Kohli is a modern-day great. When it comes to run chases, no one has ever shown better understanding of pacing an innings. Yes he has 50 international centuries now. I think he is the only player who can break Tendulkar’s record. But there is no pressure on him. He should just go out there and enjoy the game. He should just look after himself,” he said.

Akhtar also backed him score 120 centuries the way he is batting this year. “If Misbah-ul-Haq can play until 43, I am sure Virat can play until he is 44. If he plays that long and if he continues to score the way he is doing now, I have no doubt that he is the only one who can do it. In fact, he can hit 120 centuries. But comparing him to Sachin is not justified. Sachin was an all-time great. In today’s era, Virat Kohli is the greatest batsman,” he added.

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