Only two people could possibly celebrate Virat Kohli‘s world record of 50 ODI centuries – his idol Sachin Tendulkar and partner Anushka Sharma. And as fate would have it, both were in attendance when Kohli achieved what once was the impossible – beat Tendulkar’s record for the most hundreds in ODIs. Kohli was yet to complete 4 years into his international career, when Tendulkar, fresh off his 100th hundred backed Virat to one day break his record. 11 years later, as the prophecy came true, Sachin had the best seat in the house when Kohli scampered for two to get to the landmark. He plunged to the ground, soaked it in and paid his respects to the master like only a fanboy could.
Kohli’s 117 was instrumental in taking India to a monstrous total of 397/4. Shreyas Iyer played his part too with a second century on the bounce, but Kohli once again played anchor to forge a 256-run partnership with Shubman Gill and Iyer combined (Gill retired hurt on 97). After the Indian innings concluded, a tired yet extremely pleased Kohli opened up on the significance of the century and what it meant to surpass his idol.
Also Read: All of Virat Kohli’s 50 ODI centuries
“Well, I’m feeling (pauses). Again, 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. As I said, for me the most important thing is to make my team win. I’ve been given a role this tournament and I’m trying to dig deep. That’s the key to consistency – play according to the situation and play for the team,” Kohli said while speaking to the host broadcaster.
If Sachin received Kohli’s ultimate show of respect, and reciprocated the feeling by posting a golden message on X, Anushka showered her husband with an array of flying kisses from the stand. This is Kohli’s third century this World Cup, and a fourth overall; and the great man wouldn’t have it any other way. As Kohli was about to speak, Tendulkar walked up to him, hugged Virat to sum up the perfect day for India’s man of the hour.
“It’s the stuff of dreams. Sachin paaji was there in the stands. It’s very difficult for me to express it. My life partner, my hero – he’s sitting there. And all these fans at the Wankhede. To get to 400 is amazing; a lot of credit needs to go to Shreyas. KL finished it with a flurry [of boundaries],” said Kohli.