On 35th birthday, Kohli equals Tendulkar with 49th ODI hundred
Kolkata: India’s premier batter Virat Kohli on Sunday equalled his idol Sachin Tendulkar’s record of most ODI centuries with his 49th hundred in their World Cup match against South Africa here, celebrating his 35th birthday in the most befitting manner.
Kohli reached the landmark when he scored a single off Kagiso Rabada in the 49th over of the Indian innings in front of a packed Eden Gardens crowds that kept chanting his names.
With this the Indian maestro added another feather to his already illustrious cap while continuing his rich vein of form in the tournament.
He remained unbeaten on 101 and faced 121 balls in his knock that had 10 shots to the fence.
Expectations have been building up here since the Indian team landed in the City of Joy that houses one of cricket’s most iconic venues.
Prior to the match against South Africa, Kohli narrowly missed out on his 49th ODI century during India’s match against Sri Lanka on Thursday at the Wankhede Stadium.
Playing in front of the Master Blaster, who was watching the game, Kohli was dismissed for 88.
Before that he had played a stroke-filled knock of 95 off 104 balls to seal India’s four-wicket win over New Zealand at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium.
Kohli entered this game just one short of matching Tendulkar’s incredible tally.
While Kohli took 277 innings to hit 49th century, Tendulkar took 452 innings.
However it may be mentioned that Kohli has always been a top-order batter, Tendulkar batted down the order in about 80 matches before becoming a top-order batter in different playing conditions.
In Tendulkar’s era, five fielders were allowed outside the 30-yard circle and only one ball was used, compared to two balls from different ends in current era and one less fielder.