Virat Kohli’s Milestone Moment: A Century for the Ages in World Cup Semifinal
In a historic ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup semi-final clash against New Zealand, Virat Kohli achieved a milestone that he described as “too good to be true.” Speaking during the innings break at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium, Kohli expressed his disbelief after becoming the first player in the history of the game to score 50 One Day International centuries, surpassing the legendary Sachin Tendulkar.
Kohli’s phenomenal knock of 117 played a pivotal role in India’s commanding total of 397/4, marking the highest first-innings total in a men’s Cricket World Cup semi-final. This innings also propelled Kohli to the position of the highest run-scorer in a single ICC Cricket World Cup, surpassing Tendulkar’s previous record. The cricketing maestro, Tendulkar himself, was present in the stands and was among the first to congratulate Kohli.
“The great man just congratulated me, all this feels like a dream honestly. It’s too good to be true, it feels surreal,” Kohli expressed. “I never thought I’d be here ever in my career. Just to help the team so many times.”
Acknowledging his role in the team, Kohli emphasized, “As I said a lot of times before, for me, the most important thing is to make my team win. Whatever it takes to do that I’m ready to do that, whether it’s running singles and doubles, hitting boundaries, whatever the team wants me to do.”
Kohli praised the collective effort of the team, highlighting the outstanding opening stand between Rohit Sharma (47 from 29) and Shubman Gill (80* from 66). Shreyas Iyer’s brilliant century added to India’s formidable total, showcasing the team’s tactical brilliance.
“For us, I think it was a perfect batting performance, but just one-half of the game is done,” Kohli remarked, emphasizing the need for a comprehensive team effort.
Upon reaching his century, Kohli saluted the stands, gesturing towards Sachin Tendulkar and his wife Anushka Sharma. Reflecting on this significant achievement, Kohli said, “My hero, he’s sitting there. My life partner, the person I love the most, she’s sitting there. And I was able to get there in front of all of them and all these fans in Wankhede as well, such a historic venue. It was amazing.”
Sachin Tendulkar, whose record of 49 ODI tons was surpassed by Kohli, led the tributes, expressing his joy at seeing another Indian cricketer achieve this feat. The cricketing legend stated that he was pleased to see that a fellow Indian had taken the record,
“The first time I met you in the Indian dressing room, you were pranked by other teammates into touching my feet. I couldn’t stop laughing that day. But soon, you touched my heart with your passion and skill.
“I am so happy that that young boy has grown into a ‘Virat’ player. I couldn’t be happier that an Indian broke my record. And to do it on the biggest stage – in the World Cup Semi-final – and at my home ground is the icing on the cake.”
Kohli’s remarkable century came in a crucial World Cup game, witnessed by sporting icons from around the world. The achievement not only solidified Kohli’s place in cricketing history but also contributed significantly to India’s pursuit of World Cup glory.