Mumbai: Virat Kohli smashed his 49th ODI hundred on his 35th birthday after reaching the three-figure mark off 119 deliveries against South Africa in India’s ODI World Cup 2023 match at Eden Gardens in Kolkata.
With this, Kohli equalled Sachin Tendulkar’s world record for smashing most hundreds in ODI cricket. Kohli has now smashed 79 hundreds in international cricket.
On Sunday, Kohli—who was celebrating his 35th birthday—reached the milestone after taking a single off Kagiso Rabada’s bowling in the 49th over of India’s innings.
In two previous encounters this season, Kohli, who was playing in his 289th ODI on Sunday, narrowly missed reaching the milestone after falling for 97 and 88 against New Zealand and Sri Lanka, respectively.
By the way, in 2009, at Eden Gardens, Kohli reached his first-ever ODI century against Sri Lanka. He also reached his 50th international hundred in a Test match here in 2017 against Sri Lanka.
“I’m grateful to god for giving me the chance to play and contribute to the team’s success. It’s great to get a hundred on my birthday in front of this big crowd at this great venue,” Kohli said after his innings on Sunday.
Since making his debut for the Indian national team in 2008, Kohli has amassed 79 hundreds in all three formats of the game, trailing only Tendulkar (100 hundred) in the record for the most hundreds scored by a batter in international cricket.
After hitting 121 balls for 101 runs without conceding an end, Kohli helped India reach 326 for 5 in their 50 overs. The Men in Blue have already advanced to the tournament semifinals and have triumphed in each of their seven previous games.
Before the semifinals, Rohit Sharma’s team still has one group stage encounter left, against the Netherlands, in Bengaluru on November 12.