Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli celebrates after scoring a century during the first One Day International (ODI) cricket match between South Africa and India in Durban.ANESH DEBIKY/AFP/Getty Images

Former India captain Sourav Ganguly has heaped praise on Virat Kohli, backing the Delhi batsman to break Sachin Tendulkar's records in the 50-over format of the game.

Ganguly said "sky is the limit" for Kohli, whom he enjoys watching on television. Also, the Indian captain and his former teammate Tendulkar are two of the "greatest" batsmen in the sport, according to the 45-year-old.

Ganguly's comments come after Kohli smashed a match-winning ton in the first ODI of the ongoing six-match series between India and South Africa in Durban. Notably, it was also the right-hander's 33rd ODI century and his first in the "Rainbow Nation".

Also read: List of records broken by Kohli in Durban ODI

Kohli is now only 16 tons behind Tendulkar, who ended his ODI career with 18,426 runs from 463 matches. At 29, he has needed only 195 innings to reach the 33-century mark in ODIs while the batting legend needed more than 250 innings to get there.

"Virat is really, really special and the more we see him the more we feel that he is unbelievable. The chase last night was just remarkable. He is a special player. I don't see a reason why not he will get close to Sachin Tendulkar's record in one day cricket," Ganguly told India Today on Friday, February 2.

He added: "Fantastic, that's just one word about Virat Kohli. He just gets better and better and better. The sky is the limit for him and it is such a pleasure watching him bat every time on television.

"I think still two of the greatest. One is Sachin and one him. There's no doubt about it and god knows what's going to happen in the next seven to eight years he plays for the country if he stays fit."

kohli tendulkar
Sachin Tendulkar [L] and Virat Kohli were a part of the India team during their ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 victory.Reuters

Kohli has been breaking at will over the last few years across all formats of the game. The world number one ODI batsman scored 1,460 runs, the most by any batsman in 2017, and six centuries from just 26 matches.

The Indian captain scored the only century in the recently-concluded Test series, which India lost 2-1. The first-drop led the team from the front in Durban ODI, hitting 112 of just 119 balls to help India gun down a 269-run target.

It was also Kohli's 18th century in a successful run chase. Meanwhile, he also equalled Ganguly's record of most number of ODI centuries as Indian captain (11). The Indian skipper has now hit at least an ODI ton in every country he has played in.