On Sunday, Virat Kohli achieved a significant cricketing milestone by equalling Sachin Tendulkar’s record for the most centuries in ODIs. In the group stage match against South Africa, Kohli scored a determined unbeaten 101 from 120 balls, contributing to India’s dominant victory.
His century played a crucial role as India managed to post a formidable total of 326/5 on a challenging Kolkata pitch and then restricted South Africa to just 83 runs, securing a convincing 243-run win. This victory ensured India’s top position on the points table after the group stage.
Virat Kohli interacts with the ground staff following the match in Kolkata
After the match, Virat Kohli made a kind and friendly gesture towards the Eden Gardens ground staff. He went up to them, said hello, and took a photo with the group. This moment became very popular on social media.
— Abhishek Kamal (@iamkamal18) November 5, 2023
Kohli received the Player of the Match award for his outstanding performance on a difficult pitch. Even though he equalled Tendulkar’s record, he remained modest in his response. The 35-year-old birthday celebrant mentioned that he could never match Tendulkar’s greatness and expressed that it was an honour for him to reach the same level as his childhood hero.
Kohli said, “Tendulkar’s tweet is very special,” and added, “It’s a lot to absorb at the moment. It’s a great honour to reach the same level as my hero. He’s the best with the bat. It’s an emotional moment for me. I remember the days when I watched him on TV while growing up. To receive appreciation from him means a lot to me.”
India’s remarkable margin of victory was even more impressive considering that South Africa, who had only lost one match in the tournament (a surprising defeat to the Netherlands), were in second place in the 10-team standings and had already secured a spot in the semi-finals.
“It was a big game,” said Kohli. “We were probably playing the toughest team in the tournament so far, there was motivation for doing well. People made it a bit more special on my birthday. I had a sense of it being something more. The message from the management was for me to bat deep, I was happy from that perspective.”