Pakistan’s former fast bowler
on Saturday for getting to the mark of 50 ODI centuries and commended the Indian run machine as the premier batter of the modern era while wishing that he goes on to reach the milestone of a century of centuries.
Currently in the UAE for the second season of the International League T20, where he is the brand ambassador and commentator, Akhtar, while speaking to ANI, said that if Virat had played during his playing days, he might have faced challenges, but would have still managed to accumulate the impressive runs he has done in the modern era.
“Back then, Sachin (Tendulkar) was playing with one ball (same ball used from both ends), which would reverse-swing against some of the best batters in the world. There was only one circle (inner ring). Today, Sachin would have made a lot of runs. He is the greatest ever…Ricky Ponting, Brian Lara, etc.,” he said.
“Virat would have been competitive (in our era). He could have faced difficulties but he would have scored the runs he has scored now. We (bowlers) would have faced a similar beating, but playing Wasim Akram is not easy. Virat is Virat. He is the greatest batsman of this era. Both eras cannot be compared. Hats off to him. I want him to get hundred (international) centuries,” he added.
Virat and Sachin stand as two of the finest batters in the history of the sport. Virat’s remarkable consistency and the Indian team’s reliance on his batting have led to comparisons with the legendary Sachin.
In a total of 522 international matches, Virat has amassed 26,733 runs at an impressive average of 54.11, registering 80 centuries and 139 half-centuries in 580 innings. His highest score is an unbeaten 254*. Notably, he holds the distinction of being the first player to score 50 ODI centuries.
Sachin, with a prolific career spanning 664 international matches, accumulated 34,357 runs at an average of 48.52. He notched up 100 centuries and 164 half-centuries, with his best innings being an unbeaten 270*.
(With ANI inputs)