Virat Kohli today broke the record for the most one-day international centuries, edging ahead of fellow Indian Sachin Tendulkar, after hitting his 50th in the World Cup semi-final against New Zealand.
Kohli equalled Tendulkar’s previous best of 49 10 days ago in hitting an unbeaten 101 against South Africa, the knock coming on his 35th birthday, and he wasted little time in taking sole ownership of the record.
The Black Caps bowlers had no answer as he brought up his ton with a flick on the leg side off Lockie Ferguson. Kohli sank to his knees while the Wankhede Stadium crowd, which included Tendulkar and David Beckham, rose to their feet.
KOHLI, ODI KING 👑 pic.twitter.com/Kt743mIEQa
— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) November 15, 2023
The biggest danger to him achieving the milestone was, when on 92, he appeared to tweak a hamstring in attempting a pull shot off Trent Boult. After treatment he continued and, following one or two nervy moments, got over the line.
Kohli made his ODI debut in 2008 against Sri Lanka with today his 291st appearance for India in the format. His 50th ton came in his 279th innings.
It wasn’t the only record he broke today.
In getting to 80, he also broke Tendulkar’s record of 673 runs made in a single World Cup.
He was out not long after reaching three figures, caught by Devon Conway off the bowling of Tim Southee after making 117 off 113 balls.
Afterwards, he said achieving the feat in front of his wife Anushka Sharma and Tendulkar made it even more special.
“It’s stuff of dreams, Anushka was sitting right there, Sachin was there in the stands,” Kohli said.
“I mean, it’s very difficult for me to explain this, but if I could paint the perfect picture, I would want this to be the picture. My life partner, the person I love the most, she’s sitting there. My hero, he’s sitting there. And I was able to get the 50th in front of all of them and all these fans at Wankhede as well, such a historic venue. It was amazing.”