Virat Kohli's iconic 49th century equals Sachin Tendulkar's record on birthday
Virat Kohli's birthday fairytale: equals Sachin Tendulkar's world record with 49th century against South Africa in Kolkata
On his 35th birthday, Indian cricket star Virat Kohli reached a significant milestone by scoring his 49th One Day International (ODI) century during the 2023 World Cup match against South Africa. This remarkable achievement puts Kohli on par with the legendary Sachin Tendulkar, who also has 49 ODI centuries to his name.
In the match at Kolkata's iconic Eden Gardens, India aimed to secure their eighth consecutive victory in the tournament after winning their previous seven matches. Kohli faced a South African attack that tested his resilience.
The proteas spinner's challenge
South African spinner Keshav Maharaj posed a significant challenge to Kohli. Maharaj troubled the Indian captain with his deliveries, even prompting a review for a possible edge. However, Kohli remained steadfast and, alongside Shreyas Iyer, rebuilt India's innings.
Iyer, under pressure due to missed opportunities in the World Cup, initially played defensively. Kohli, on the other hand, took on a more aggressive role. The duo's partnership saw them rely on rotating the strike and steadily building their innings.
Kohli's century on his birthday
Kohli eventually reached his century on the 35th over of the innings. He secured his record-equalling 49th ODI century with a single off Kagiso Rabada's delivery. This century marked Kohli's second in the ongoing World Cup and his third overall in the tournament's history. In total, it was his 79th international century.
As Kohli celebrates his 35th birthday, his incredible cricketing journey continues. While equalling Sachin Tendulkar's record of 49 ODI centuries, Kohli remains determined to reach new milestones and cement his place in cricketing history. He is now just 21 centuries away from equalling Tendulkar's remarkable record of 100 international centuries.