Taking to Instagram to make the announcement, the couple wrote: “With abundant happiness and our hearts all of love, we are pleased to inform everyone that on 15th February
November 16, 2013, a red-letter day for Indian cricket when the ‘God of Cricket’ Sachin Tendulkar bid adieu to the game after featuring in his career’s final Test match against the West Indies at the Wankhede Stadium….exactly 10 years later, at the same venue, Virat Kohli went one up his idol during the India-New Zealand ODI World Cup semifinal when he became the first ever batter to notch up 50 centuries in ODI cricket, a landmark that is unparalleled in the history of the sport.
Tendulkar had scored 49 tons across the 50 overs format and 51 more in the Tests. Kohli on the other hand, has 29 triple digit scores and one more T20I hundred to go with his ODI tons and make for the overall 80 centuries in international cricket.
Coming in to bat at the fall of skipper Rohit Sharma, Kohli got to the landmark with a shovelled double between long leg and deep midwicket. The 35-year-old who got to a record-equalling 49th century against South Africa in Kolkata earlier in the tournament, on Wednesday battled cramps on a sultry Mumbai afternoon before completing his 50th century with a double to earn a standing ovation from the sea of blue at the Wankhede.
After completing the run, Kohli celebrated with a leap and a punch in the air, before taking off his helmet, raising his arms and bowing towards the stands, where Sachin Tendulkar, standing beside English football star David Beckham appreciated the feat.
“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,” Sachin Tendulkar wrote on social media in appreciation of Kohli’s milestone.
“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,” Tendulkar added.
It was a third hundred for the former India captain at the ongoing tournament to follow his innings against Bangladesh and South Africa.
On the day, Kohli also went past the batting maestro’s tally of 673 runs – most in a single ODI World Cup when he scored his 80th run in Wednesday’s semi-final and went on to become the first batter to score 700 runs in an ODI World Cup. By the time Kohli was dismissed for 117 off 113 balls, he had 711 runs in the tournament at an average of 101.57 and strike rate of 90.68.
While Tendulkar had scored his 49th hundred in his 451st ODI innings, Kohli had equalled that landmark in just 277 innings and then broke the record in his 279th innings.
As he walked past the crowd, acknowledging a feat in which he stood alone, aloft on that summit, it was also a first for the Delhi batter, who got to his first ever century in a World Cup knockout game! No better occasion than that!
“Again, the great man just congratulated me. It feels like a dream. Too good to be true. Big game for us and I played the role so that the guys around me could come and express themselves. As I said, for me the most important thing is to make my team win. I’ve been given a role this tournament and I’m trying to dig deep. That’s the key to consistency – play according to the situation and play for the team,” Kohli said.
“It’s the stuff of dreams. Sachin paaji was there in the stands. It’s very difficult for me to express it. My life partner, my hero – he’s sitting there. And all these fans at the Wankhede. To get to 400 is amazing; a lot of credit needs to go to Shreyas. KL finished it with a flurry (of boundaries),” he added.