Virat Kohli, the Indian cricketing sensation, marked his 35th birthday by equaling Sachin Tendulkar’s world record of 49 ODI hundreds. This milestone was achieved during India’s World Cup match against South Africa in Kolkata, captivating a near-capacity crowd at Eden Gardens.
After the innings Kohli stated, “Every opportunity to play for India is a big one for me. To be able to do that on my birthday, in front of the whole crowd, it’s the stuff of dreams, something that as a child you wish had happened.”
“I am very grateful to God that I have been blessed with these kinds of moments, so much love from the fans as well and just continue to help the team in any way possible.”
The record-equalling century came off 119 balls in the 49th over, as Kohli punched Kagiso Rabada to cover for a single.
Instagram post by Sachin Tendulkar appreciating Virat Kohli.— Johns. (@CricCrazyJohns) November 5, 2023
– Beautiful words from God of cricket. 🐐 pic.twitter.com/3Ct59bbgaI
Kohli achieved this feat in just his 277th innings in his 289th match, while Tendulkar reached his 49th century in his 451st ODI innings.
Kohli’s unbeaten score of 101 off 121 balls played a pivotal role in guiding India to a total of 326. He started his innings in the sixth over, and despite the early loss of Shubman Gill, he maintained the momentum, even on a challenging wicket.
Kohli and Shreyas Iyer’s partnership of 134 runs off 158 balls was crucial in keeping India’s momentum going.
Reflecting on the innings, Kohli said, “My role was to bat deep and bat till the end because that’s what I have done over the years and that’s what the communication from the team was well; I bat, and guys bat around me.”
This performance in the 2023 World Cup adds to Kohli’s prolific year in the ODI format, with more than 1000 runs and five centuries in 2023. He is now the eighth time he has scored more than 1000 ODI runs in a year, surpassing Tendulkar’s record of seven such instances.
With seven wins in seven games, India secured a spot in the World Cup semi-finals, further cementing their status as a cricketing powerhouse.