On Wednesday, Virat Kohli achieved a historic milestone, notching up his 50th one-day international hundred and leading India to a resounding 70-run victory over New Zealand in the World Cup semi-final in Mumbai. Kohli’s stellar innings of 117 propelled him past the record he shared with the legendary Sachin Tendulkar. Additionally, Shreyas Iyer played a pivotal role with a rapid 105, contributing to India’s imposing total of 397-4, which also featured Shubman Gill’s unbeaten 80.
Kohli, 35, reached his century — his third of the tournament — with a two off fast bowler Lockie Ferguson, having faced 106 balls, hitting eight fours and a six, to break Sachin Tendulkar’s record. He did so on his former India team-mate’s home ground – the Wankhede Stadium – with Tendulkar among those applauding at the Wankhede Stadium as Kohli bowed towards his childhood hero and fellow 2011 World Cup-winner.
This was Kohli’s 279th ODI innings, with the former India captain having also scored a further 71 fifties in addition to his 50 hundreds. Dropped on 107, Kohli was eventually out for 117 when he pulled Tim Southee low to Devon Conway at deep square leg. Following Kohli’s century and India’s resounding victory against New Zealand, captain Kane Williamson applauded his batting contemporary during a media interaction.
Calling Kohli the “best,” Williamson stated that the India batter is only improving with time. “(I am) trying to find the words to describe it really, and not just that, actually the way he goes about it, it is about winning games for his team and he is getting close and there is a lot of attention and that comes with a lot of his success,” Williamson said.
“He is the best, isn’t he? And he seems to be getting better, which is a worry for opposition all around the world, but you admire it,” he added.
Tendulkar, whose previous record of 49 had been equalled by Kohli during the side’s group stage win over South Africa, hailed his compatriot’s “passion and skill”.
“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,” Tendulkar had written on X, formerly Twitter.