On 35th birthday, ‘grateful’ Virat Kohli says it is ‘stuff of dreams’ to level-up with Sachin Tendulkar

Kolkata: Virat Kohli on Sunday said that scoring his 49th ODI century on his 35th birthday, which put him at par with the legendary Sachin Tendulkar, was the stuff dreams are made of and thanked the almighty for blessing him with such a moment.
A decade after Tendulkar walked away from international cricket having set the record of most international centuries in 50-overs cricket, Kohli levelled up with the batting legend in delivering yet another crucial performance.
Kohli scored a fabulous 121-ball 101 (10x4s) to take India to a huge 326/5 on a sluggish surface against South Africa, with Shreyas Iyer chipping in with 77 and Rohit Sharma making 24-ball 40.
“Every opportunity to play for India is a big one; to be able to ton up on my birthday is a stuff of dreams. Grateful to God that I’ve been blessed with such moments,” Kohli told the broadcaster after India’s innings.
Tendulkar was quick to wish Kohli on his remarkable achievement and wished that he gets a world-record 50 ODI tons in the ‘next few days’.
“Well played Virat. 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!!” he posted on X (formerly Twitter).
Kohli had to drop the anchor while the others batted around him after India’s progression slowed down due to the pitch slowing down here at the Eden Gardens.
Talking about the innings, Kohli said, “It was a wicket that was tricky to bat on. We got a great start. My job was to keep the momentum going when I got in. But, after ten overs, the ball started gripping, and the wicket started slowing down,” he explained.
“My role was to bat deep and till the end after the openers fell because that’s what I’ve done; that was the communication as well – to have guys bat around me.”.
“Shreyas starting hitting well as well. We were not thinking we would get to 326, but that’s what happens when you dig deep and take the game into the last few overs.”.
Kohli said spending a lot of time in training sessions before the Asia Cup proved to be vital for him and Iyer, during their 134-run stand on Sunday for the third wicket.
“Shreyas and I had a lot of practice sessions before the Asia Cup and invariably batted together at 3 and 4. Both of us are comfortable against spinners. Both of us are comfortable rotating strikes against spinners, credit to him for putting away bad balls,” he signed off.

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