Kohli recently ended a 1,020-day wait for his 71st international cent when he crushed 122 from 61 balls against Afghanistan in the Asian Cup earlier this month.
“Look, I’ll never say never with Virat, because you know once he’s on a good streak, you know how hungry he is and how eager he is to succeed. I’ll never say never, that’s for sure,” said the two-time World Cup-winning Australian skipper.
In his century, Kohli equaled Ponting’s feat of 71 tons. Kohli now has only one name on the list of most centuries above him – Tendulkar.
Thirty international centuries might be a lot, but Ponting said: “I still think he’s got a number of years ahead of him, but I guess he’s still 30 hundred years behind. , it’s a lot.
“That’s five or six hundred tests a year, maybe for the next three or four years. If you throw a few one-day ones, maybe the extra few T20s,” added the player from 47 years.
With Kohli back to his best, a debate is now swirling over whether he should open in place of KL Rahul, who struggled to find the rhythm after returning from an injury layoff.
Kohli opened for India in nine T20Is, scoring 400 carries at an average of 57.14 with a superb strike rate of 161.29.
“The question we’re going to keep asking is – well, I’m sure Indian selectors are asking the same question – is this creating more of a problem than we thought with Virat getting those 100 at-bats? What are we going to do now before the World Cup?
“So there are a few other questions that are probably raised on the back of this magnificent 100 that he did. He even stated publicly that he himself was surprised that the first 100 back was actually in a match (T20I ). He thought it would be the last option he would have to score his first cent in a few years.”
Kohli returned to India’s Asian Cup squad after a month-long break.
Team India will face Australia in three T20Is from Mohali on Tuesday. Then they will face South Africa in three ODIs and T20Is before flying to Australia.
When asked if Kohli should rest again: “Yeah, that’s a really good question and it’s probably a question that only he could answer,” Ponting said.
“It will just depend on how he feels mentally again.
“When you’re playing, you never realize how tired you are until you take a step back, because you’re always bluffing yourself and convincing yourself that you’re 100% physically and mentally fine.
“Sometimes you’re way off that. And I think Virat came out and said that too, he just didn’t realize how much of a space he was in until he got that extended break.
“If he keeps scoring now, I’m sure he’ll play the next set. If he plays that and plays well and starts to play a bit of a role, I think he’ll want to keep playing. He want to continue this momentum.
“But if he gets a bit thin again, it will probably be in his interest and India’s interest to try to refresh him mentally as much as possible before the World Cup,” Ponting added.