Virat Kohli surpassed his idol Sachin Tendulkar by scoring his 50th ODI century in a semifinal match against New Zealand on November 15 (Wednesday) at the iconic Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai. This milestone not only placed Kohli ahead of Tendulkar but also established him as the only player in the player to get to 50 ODI centuries. Kohli secured his third century in this World Cup, with the other two coming against Bangladesh and South Africa during the league stage, reaching this landmark in 106 balls.
Tendulkar himself extended his congratulations to Kohli, reminiscing about their first meeting in the Indian dressing room where a prank was played on the then youngster Kohli. Tendulkar highlighted Kohli’s growth from that moment, expressing joy that Kohli has blossomed into a top-class player, breaking his own record. He added that achieving this feat in a World Cup semifinal, especially at his home ground made it all the more special.
‘You Touched My Heart With Your Passion And Skill’: Tendulkar To Kohli
“The first time I met you in the Indian dressing room, you were pranked by other teammates into touching my feet. I couldn’t stop laughing that day. But soon, you touched my heart with your passion and skill. I am so happy that that young boy has grown into a ‘Virat’ player.
I couldn’t be happier that an Indian broke my record. And to do it on the biggest stage – in the World Cup Semi-final – and at my home ground is the icing on the cake.
#INDvNZ,” posted Sachin Tendulkar on X (formerly Twitter).
The first time I met you in the Indian dressing room, you were pranked by other teammates into touching my feet. I couldn’t stop laughing that day. But soon, you touched my heart with your passion and skill. I am so happy that that young boy has grown into a ‘Virat’ player.
— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) November 15, 2023
This match marked Kohli’s first instance of scoring 50 or more in a ODI World Cup knockout game and also saw him surpass Tendulkar’s 673-run milestone in a single World Cup. Kohli achieved this by surpassing Sachin’s record of 673 runs set in the 2003 edition, reaching 711 runs in this World Cup with a single off Glenn Phillips.
Shreyas Iyer’s stunning century, coupled with Kohli’s world record ton, propelled India to a commanding 397 for four against New Zealand. Consequently, India set a daunting target of 398 runs for New Zealand. A win in this match would propel Rohit Sharma’s team to the tournament final, scheduled at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on November 19.