In a historic moment at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium, Virat Kohli made cricket history as the first player to achieve 50 centuries in One Day Internationals (ODIs). This remarkable feat unfolded during the World Cup semifinal against New Zealand, with Kohli surpassing his idol Sachin Tendulkar, who observed the milestone from the stands.
Kohli reached the historic landmark with a double off Kiwi pacer Lockie Ferguson, moving from 98 to 100. The significance of the achievement was highlighted by the fact that on November 15, which coincided with the anniversary of Tendulkar’s last international innings for India, Kohli reached his 50th ODI century at the same venue where Tendulkar played his final Test against the West Indies.
The Indian skipper notched up his 50th ODI century and simultaneously set a new benchmark for the highest runs (711) in a single World Cup edition, eclipsing Tendulkar’s 673 runs in 2003. Kohli’s exceptional performance continued as he outpaced competitors like Quinton de Kock and Rachin Ravindra to secure the position of the leading run-scorer in the tournament.
Sharing his sentiments during the mid-innings break, Kohli described the moment as surreal and a dream realized. The presence of Tendulkar and Kohli’s wife, Anushka Sharma, in the stands added a special touch to the occasion. Kohli, ever focused on team success, emphasized the importance of playing for the team and adapting to match situations.
India posted an imposing total of 397 runs against New Zealand, with Kohli praising the team’s batting performance, particularly highlighting the contributions of Shreyas Iyer, Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, and KL Rahul.
Kohli’s record-breaking century not only secured his place in cricket history but also marked a turning point in his personal World Cup journey. Previously plagued by a semifinal curse, Kohli’s masterful innings in the 2023 World Cup semifinal showcased his ability to handle pressure on the grandest stage.
Kohli’s remarkable consistency and outstanding performance have positioned him as the leading century-scorer in ODIs, surpassing cricketing legends like Tendulkar and Ricky Ponting.
As Kohli bowed down in acknowledgement of his achievement, a touching moment unfolded, signifying the symbolic passing of the cricketing torch from one legend, Tendulkar, to another. Virat Kohli’s historic feat not only solidifies his standing in cricket history but also propels India a step closer to the dream of World Cup glory.