India batter Virat Kohli beat the mark of 49 tons in the 50-over format set by compatriot Sachin Tendulkar in the Cricket World Cup semi-final against New Zealand; the 35-year-old brought up the milestone century from 106 balls; Kohli
Thursday 16 November 2023 05:50, UK
Virat Kohli reached a record 50th one-day international century during India's Cricket World Cup semi-final win over New Zealand in Mumbai.
The batter matched fellow India icon Sachin Tendulkar's record of 49 tons in the 50-over format during the host nation's 243-run win over South Africa in the group stage on November 5 in Kolkata.
Kohli followed that birthday ton up by setting a new record of 50 centuries in Wednesday's knock-out clash with 2019 World Cup runners-up New Zealand, reaching the milestone in his 279th ODI innings from 106 balls.
His hundred included eight fours and one six, and he brought it up by running two with a deft flick to the leg-side in the 42nd over.
Kohli said afterwards: "For me, this all feels like a dream. It's too good to be true, it's surreal. I never thought I would be here in my career."
He added: "It's difficult to explain but if I could paint the perfect picture I would want this to be the picture: my partner, the person I love the most is sitting there, my hero [Tendulkar] is sitting there.
"To get to 50 hundreds in front of them and the fans at this historic venue was amazing."
Kohli's team-mate Rohit Sharma is third behind Tendulkar on the all-time list with 31 hundreds, followed by former Australia batter Ricky Ponting (30) and ex-Sri Lanka opener Sanath Jayasuriya (28).
The highest-ranked English batter is Joe Root on 16.
Former England World Cup-winning captain, Eoin Morgan:
"Given the context, given the occasion, there is no better place to beat [the record]. It's in Sachin's backyard, Sachin is also here.
"It's incredible what he's achieved and it just reaffirms that in every generation, there are special players, and Virat is certainly one of those in this current generation of cricketers. The volume of runs that he has scored in one-day cricket is remarkable.
"We know he's a guy that enjoys individual milestones, and we know he's an emotional guy, but I've never seen him be as emotional as he was when he got to three figures. The game completely stopped and there was a period to acknowledge exactly what he's achieved.
"The determination he's had to reach the top of that table is absolutely remarkable."
Former New Zealand bowler Simon Doull:
"We talk about his greatness, his ability, his appetite, but he hadn't had a great time in knockout situations in World Cups. What better time to do it?
"And that's the key. He delivers when the pressure is on.
"He went through a little lean run for quite some time. We didn't know when the next hundred was coming, but it seems like that life balance that he's got now - he has talked about his wife and how happy things are, how great his life is outside of the game - and I don't think that can be underestimated.
"When you're just in a great space in your life, that transfers onto the cricket field and into your game.
"The captaincy: I was a big supporter of him losing the captaincy a couple years ago at IPL level, because he plays under such immense pressure in this country - whether it be at international level or in the IPL.
"I think there's a lot to be said for that easing of pressure and we're now seeing the greatness of Virat Kohli."
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