Kolkata, November 5, 2023 – In a monumental moment for Indian cricket, Virat Kohli, on the occasion of his 35th birthday, etched his name in the annals of the sport by equaling Sachin Tendulkar’s legendary record for the most centuries in One-Day Internationals (ODIs). This historic feat occurred during India’s eighth match of the 2023 World Cup against South Africa at the iconic Eden Gardens in Kolkata.
Virat Kohli equals the legendary Sachin Tendulkar on his birthday!
— ICC (@ICC) November 5, 2023
Virat Kohli hailed as one of the modern greats of the game, achieved his 49th ODI century in just his 289th appearance in the format. He shares this remarkable record with the iconic Sachin Tendulkar, who accomplished the same feat during his illustrious career spanning 463 ODIs. Tendulkar’s 49th century was also significant as it marked his 100th international century, a record considered near-impossible to break unless Kohli can maintain his exceptional form for several more years.
𝗛𝗨𝗡𝗗𝗥𝗘𝗗 in Kolkata for the Birthday Boy! 🎂🥳
— BCCI (@BCCI) November 5, 2023
Kohli’s record-equalling century came after a series of outstanding performances in the 2023 World Cup, where he became only the third Indian, alongside Tendulkar and Rohit Sharma, to surpass the 500-run mark in a single edition of the World Cup. His journey in this tournament began with a classy 85 against Australia, followed by his 48th ODI century against Bangladesh. While he came close to the milestone on two previous occasions, with scores of 95 against New Zealand and 88 against Sri Lanka, he finally achieved it on his birthday.
Kohli’s ODI career began in August 2008 against Sri Lanka, and he marked his maiden ODI century against the same opponent in December 2009. Over his illustrious 15-year career, he has notched up impressive centuries against various nations, with 10 against Sri Lanka, 9 against West Indies, 8 against Australia, 5 each against Bangladesh, New Zealand, and South Africa, and 3 each against Pakistan and England, along with 1 against Zimbabwe.
One of Kohli’s most memorable centuries came with his highest individual score of 183 against Pakistan in Mirpur, which incidentally marked Sachin Tendulkar’s final ODI. The two cricketing legends shared a pivotal 133-run partnership as India successfully chased down a target of 330.
Kohli faced a brief struggle in form before his resurgence, notably with his maiden T20I century against Afghanistan in 2022, followed by another century against Bangladesh. In the 2023 World Cup, he continued to impress with a century against Pakistan and a sensational hundred in a successful run chase against Bangladesh.
Kohli’s exceptional form in the World Cup has been pivotal for Team India. In their tournament opener against Australia, he played a crucial role by contributing a composed 85, guiding India to a comfortable victory alongside KL Rahul.
Virat Kohli narrowly missed equalling Sachin Tendulkar’s record in Dharamsala when he was dismissed for 95 against New Zealand, with victory in sight. In the match against Sri Lanka, Kohli initially showed signs of hesitancy but eventually settled down to score a stylish 88.
The year 2023 has witnessed Virat Kohli’s remarkable resurgence in ODIs, as he achieved his eighth 1,000-run calendar year during his innings against Sri Lanka. This outstanding feat highlights the enduring brilliance of the Indian cricketing icon.
Kohli’s record-equalling century not only cements his status as a cricketing legend but also adds a new chapter to the enduring legacy of Indian cricket. As the World Cup unfolds, all eyes will be on Kohli as he continues to inspire his team and fans alike with his exceptional performances.