`Hope you go from 49 to 50`: Tendulkar lauds Kohli for record-equalling 49th ton

Maestro at stick Sachin Tendulkar on Sunday congratulations Virat Kohli for equaling his record of most ODI hundreds in the ongoing ICC World Cup 2023 series against South Africa at Kolkata’s Eden Gardens.

The former India skipper achieved the landmark in 119 balls, including 10 fours, at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata. It took him 277 innings to score 49 hundreds at this level compared to the 438 claimed by Tendulkar.

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“Every opportunity to play for India is a great opportunity, it’s a dream come true to be able to tone up on my birthday,” said Kohli who added a century to his ongoing tally of more than 26,000 international runs. Kohli’s 101 not out at the heart of the hosts outclassed rivals India at 326-5 in their 50 matches.

“Virat played well. It took me 365 days to go from 49 to 50 earlier this year. I hope you go from 49 to 50 and break my record in the next few days. Congratulations!” Tendulkar posted on X (formerly known as X).

In 34 matches, Kohli has 1,573 runs at an average of 58.25, with four centuries and 10 fifties. His best score is 107. Sachin (2,278 runs) is the highest run scorer in WC history. Sangakkara has 1,532 runs in his WC career.

Now in eight WC 2023 matches, Kohli has scored 542 runs at an average of 108.40, with two centuries and four fifties. His best score is 103*. It is the second highest in the competition so far.

He also continued his red-hot form against South Africa in ODIs. In the last 15 innings against SA in ODIs, Kohli smashed 1,091 runs at an average of 109 overs, with five centuries and five fifties.

Besides, Kohli equaled legendary cricketer Sachin Tendulkar’s record of 49 ODI tons on Sunday. It is only a century since he became the first player to reach 50 ODI centuries. The century is also Kohli’s 79th century in international cricket. Virat has achieved 49 years in ODIs, 29 in Tests, and one in T20Is. His record number of runs came at the same ground when he scored his first ever international ton against Sri Lanka in 2009.

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The star batsman has the second highest number of centuries in international cricket, next to Tendulkar’s 100 years. Bringing up his 49th ODI century, Kohli also joined an elite company of batsmen who have scored centuries on their birthdays. These elite members include Sachin himself, Vinod Kambli, Sanath Jayasuriya, Ross Taylor, Tom Latham and Mitchell Marsh.

119 balls is Virat’s joint-most in a century, with his century against Pakistan in 2015 at Adelaide and against South Africa in 2018 in Cape Town coming on the same number of balls.

(For agency input)

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