KOLKATA: India’s batting maestro Virat Kohli on his 35th birthday equalled legendary Sachin Tendulkar’s long-standing record of most ODI centuries in the ICC World Cup 2023 fixture against South Africa.
Kohli conceded 119 deliveries to reach the record-equalling hundred, getting to the landmark in the 49th over of India’s innings by working Kagiso Rabada’s length delivery to cover for a single at the iconic Eden Gardens.
India’s batting great Tendulkar took 451 innings to score his 49th ton while Virat Kohli achieved the feat in 277th innings in his 289th match.
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Notably, this was his 79th international century overall, taking a step closer to Sachin Tendulkar’s record of 100 centuries across formats.
Furthermore, Virat Kohli has thus far scored two centuries in the ongoing ICC World Cup 2023 and is the second leading run-scorer of the tournament behind South Africa’s Quinton de Kock.
Kohli has thus far enjoyed a purple patch in this year’s global event, where the right-handed batter averages more than hundred and has a strike rate of around 85.
He has also scored more than 500 runs in an ODI World Cup for the first time in his prolific career.
Virat Kohli’s record century came in what has been a successful year for the star batter. He has scored more than thousand runs with the help of five tons in 2023, at an average of more than 70 and a strike rate of nearly 100.
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It is the eighth time in Kohli’s career that he has scored more than thousand ODI runs in a year, surpassing Tendulkar’s record of seven.
Virat Kohli’s unbeaten 101 turned out to be the centrepiece of tournament hosts India’s 326/5 in their 50 overs.
He shared a third-wicket partnership of 134 with Shreyas Iyer (77) after India captain Rohit Sharma (40) had won the toss on what turned out to be a tricky pitch.