‘It Feels Like A Dream’, Says Virat Kohli After 50th ODI Hundred During IND Vs NZ World Cup Semifinal
Mumbai: ‘It feels like a dream,” was Virat Kohli’s first reaction after completing his record-breaking 50th ODI hundred on Wednesday during the ODI World Cup 2023 semifinal against New Zealand at the Wankhede Stadium. The milestone came in the 42nd over when Kohli guided Lockie Ferguson for a double to move from 98 to 100, prompting the legend himself to applaud from the stands.
“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 can come and express themselves,” Kohli said just after the Indian innings ended.
“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.
“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.
Riding on Kohli’s (117) world record hundred and a scintillating century by Shreyas Iyer (105), India propelled to an imposing 397/4. Captain Rohit Sharma’s (47 off 29 balls) and and a fluent 66-ball 80 from Shubman Gill laid the platform for Kohli and Iyer to go all over against the opposition.
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Rohit, as is his wont, went after the bowling straightaway, and almost killed the contest in the first hour of play at the Wankhede Stadium, his dazzling array of stokes leaving the Kiwis bruised and battered.
Going for one too many, Rohit fell three short of a fifty but Gill took over from there and continued to torment the Kiwis with his repertoire of strokes.
After Gill was forced to go back, Kohli and Iyer carried on the good work to set New Zealand an improbable target. During his innings, Kohli became the highest scorer in a single edition of a World Cup, surpassing Sachin Tendulkar (673 runs in 2003).
Kohli also became the highest run-getter of this tournament, eclipsing South Africa’s Quinton de Kock (591), followed by New Zealand’s Rachin Ravindra (565). On Wednesday, Kohli scored his 72nd ODI half-century and eighth of the ongoing World Cup to record the most 50-plus scores in a World Cup edition, surpassing Tendulkar and Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan, who had scored seven fifties each in the 2003 and 2019 editions respectively.
Kohli is also placed in the third spot in the list of most runs in ODIs. Tendulkar with 18,426 runs tops the list, followed by Kumar Sangakkara (14,234). Kohli bettered Ricky Ponting (13,704) to take the third spot. Kohli is also third in the list of most 50-plus scores in international cricket headed by Tendulkar (264) and followed by Ponting (217). Kohli has 217.