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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Virat Kohli’s Remarkable Century on 35th Birthday Equals Sachin Tendulkar’s Milestone

India’s batting sensation Virat Kohli delivered an exceptional 101 not out off 121 balls, reaching his 49th One Day International (ODI) century to match the cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar’s historic record.

This extraordinary innings took place in a crucial match against South Africa in Kolkata, marking a memorable birthday for Kohli. “I had this sense of ‘it’s going to be something more today’ rather than ‘it’s just one more game in the World Cup.’ I did wake up with that excitement, yes,” Kohli explained after receiving the Player of the Match award.

Faced with a formidable South African team, Kohli acknowledged, “It was a big game. We were probably playing the toughest team in the tournament that we had played so far.” The motivation to excel for his team was intensified by the significance of his birthday and the anticipation of a remarkable achievement.

After his record-equalling century, cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar took to social media to extend his congratulations. He expressed, “Well played Virat. It took me 365 days to go from 49 to 50 earlier this year. I hope you go from 49 to 50 and break my record in the next few days. Congratulations!!” Kohli’s emotional response to Tendulkar’s message conveyed the depth of the moment. “Tendulkar’s message is quite special. For me, it’s all too much to take in right now,” he said.

Kohli’s remarkable innings of 101 not out came after a strong start by Rohit Sharma and a partnership of 134 runs with Shreyas Iyer. This performance helped India post a formidable total of 326 for 5, eventually securing a dominant victory by 243 runs.

Kohli’s impressive record is even more striking when compared to Sachin Tendulkar’s journey to his 49th century. While Tendulkar achieved this feat in his 451st ODI innings, Kohli managed it in just his 277th innings, played during his 289th match.

The game plan for Kohli was straightforward as he shared, “I bat deep, the guys around me, they bat with me, string in partnerships, express themselves, and keep doing the job that the team wants me to do. That’s my role, has always been my role.” This approach led to a winning score in a game where every run counted, especially on a challenging pitch.

This remarkable achievement is not an isolated one for Kohli. In the 2023 World Cup, he now boasts two centuries and four half-centuries in eight league games, making him the tournament’s second-highest run-scorer, trailing behind South Africa’s Quinton de Kock. With 543 runs at an impressive average of 108.60 and a strike rate of 88.29, this World Cup performance has set a new standard for Kohli in ODI cricket.

Kohli’s stellar 2023 in the ODI format includes more than 1000 runs and five centuries at an average of 72.18 and a strike rate of 99.82. This marks the eighth time he has achieved over 1000 ODI runs in a year, surpassing Tendulkar’s record of seven such instances.

The passionate cricketer emphasized, “I am enjoying myself, playing cricket all over again which is more important now than thinking about phases and such.” This resurgence in his performance is a testament to his unwavering dedication to the sport, and it is evident that he is relishing every moment on the cricket field.

For more updates stay tuned to FELA News!


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