On Sunday (5 November), during India's world cup match against South Africa, star batsman Virat Kohli celebrated his thirty-fifth birthday by achieving his forty-ninth hundred and equalling batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar's record of most one-day international centuries.
Kohli achieved the milestone during the forty-ninth over of the Indian innings at Kolkata's Eden Gardens, amidst a roaring crowd that continuously chanted his name, when he scored a single off Kagiso Rabada.
Kohli once again demonstrated his exceptional skills and continued his impressive performance in the tournament.
He scored an impressive 101 runs and stayed unbeaten, facing 121 balls. His innings included 10 boundary shots.
There had been a growing sense of anticipation in the City of Joy ever since the Indian team arrived, as it is home to one of cricket's most legendary stadiums.
In the match against Sri Lanka at Mumbai's Wankhede Stadium, just prior to the South Africa contest, Kohli came close to scoring his forty-ninth ODI century, but narrowly missed out.
Playing in front of the Master Blaster, Kohli was unfortunately dismissed for 88 during the game.
He had previously scored 95 runs off 104 balls that led India to a four-wicket victory over New Zealand at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium in Dharamshala.
Kohli has achieved his forty-ninth century in 277 innings, while Tendulkar took 452 innings to get there.
Kohli has consistently been a top-order batsman, whereas Tendulkar initially batted down the order, in approximately 80 matches, before transitioning to a top-order place in various playing conditions.
During Tendulkar's era, the rules allowed for five fielders to be positioned outside the 30-yard circle, and only one ball was used. In the current era, however, two balls are used from different ends and one less fielder outside the 30.
"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," Tendulkar wrote in an X post, congratulating Kohli.
As for the crucial top-of-the-table clash against South Africa, Ravindra Jadeja, in an impressive display of bowling, claimed five wickets, leading the Indian team to a resounding victory.
The South African batters were dismissed for a mere 83 runs, allowing the hosts to secure a convincing win by a margin of 243 runs and maintain their unbeaten record.
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