Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated Virat Kohli for becoming the first player to hit 50 centuries in One-Day International (ODI) cricket. Kohli, during the World Cup 2023 semi-final against New Zealand at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, broke Sachin Tendulkar’s world record tally of 49 ODI centuries to take India to a commanding position. Hailing Kohli’s achievement, PM Modi said the India batter’s milestone ‘exemplified the spirit of excellence and perseverance’.
“Today, Virat Kohli has not just scored his 50th ODI century but has also exemplified the spirit of excellence and perseverance that defines the best of sportsmanship,” PM Modi wrote on X.
PM Modi lauded Kohli’s dedication and talent and wished that he would continue setting benchmarks in the sport.
“This remarkable milestone is a testament to his enduring dedication and exceptional talent. I extend heartfelt congratulations to him. May he continue setting a benchmark for future generations,” he said.
Virat Kohli on top of the world
Kohli hit a record-breaking 117 to thrill a packed Mumbai crowd containing soccer great David Beckham, Tendulkar and many other luminaries of different spheres and help India post a daunting 397/4.
Tendulkar had scored 49 hundreds in 452 ODI innings, while Kohli got to this milestone in 279 innings. Kohli reached his 50th ODI 100 off 106 balls in the 42nd over, jumping with joy and then bowing down to his cricket idol Tendulkar.
Kohli put on 93 runs with Shubman Gill (80), who retired hurt after scoring 79 off 65 balls. Then Kohli put on 163 runs off 128 balls with Iyer, who slammed his fifth ODI century. Iyer ended up with 105 off 70 balls.
Kohli also became the highest run-getter in a single edition of World Cup, again surpassing the legendary Tendulkar (623 runs in 2003)”The great man just congratulated me. It feels like a dream. Too good to be true. Big game for us and I played the role so that the guys around me can come and express themselves,” Kohli said.
Kohli’s feat was witnessed not only by the legendary Sachin Tendulkar, whose record the modern-day great broke but also by batting legends Sunil Gavaskar, Viv Richards and football legend David Beckham.