‘Legacy cemented’ as Virat Kohli’s record-equalling 49th ODI century sparks flood of reactions

Kolkata: Virat Kohli’s record-equalling 49th ODI century in the World Cup clash against South Africa here on Sunday sparked a flood of reactions from around the world, with the modern-day great leveling up with the batting legend Sachin Tendulkar on the occasion of his 35th birthday.

Kohli’s composite 121-ball 101 studded with 10 fours lifted India to a huge 326/5 batting first against what has been arguably the second-best team in the tournament before South Africa crumbled for an embarrassing 83 in 27.1 overs.

India’s win by 243 runs was their eighth consecutive in which Kohli took his tally to 543 runs, compiled at 108.60 with two centuries and four fifties.

The social media space was abuzz with rich tributes to Kohli, flowing in from all parts of the world.

“Legacy cemented: Century No 49 on his 35th birthday for Virat Kohli to draw level with the great Sachin Tendulkar. Two greats of the game,” wrote the former West Indies player and commentator Ian Bishop on X (formerly Twitter).

“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!!” wrote the legendary Tendulkar after Kohli scored his sixth century of the year 2023 — exactly a decade after the former retired.

“Happy birthday to the heartbeat of the nation, who has redefined the meaning of fitness, batting, and chasing big scores. Truly destined to go down as one of the all-time greats. #GOAT #ViratKohli,” wrote Mohammed Kaif.

“Got a feeling @imVkohli will score a 100 on his bday !! #indiavssa #WorldCup2023 (sic),” predicted the India great Yuvraj Singh much before Kohli achieved the feat.

“49th odi ton just like a WoW . Congratulations @imVkohli (sic),” wrote Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan.

India opening batter and Kohli’s long-time teammate Shikhkar Dhawan expressed, “Congratulations Virat @imVkohli on smashing 49th ODI century on your birthday. Keep making #India proud!.” Former India batter VVS Laxman said, “What an incredible performance by Team India. Great start by Rohit, wonderful contribution from Shreyas Iyer and #ViratKohli on his birthday giving a great gift to all his admirers.

“A great day to reach his 49th ODI 100. And then the Indian bowlers led by Ravindra Jadeja were simply too good for the South Africans. Congratulations on a great day #INDvsSA (sic).” Anil Kumble, India’s highest wicket-taker in Test cricket and former captain said, “Top-notch batting and brilliant bowling performance from team India. A memorable achievement by @imVkohli on his birthday.” Former India pacer Venkatesh Prasad said, “Great win for Team India. Was a masterclass from #KingKohli on a challenging wicket. And the Indian bowlers are simply outstanding. Jadeja was almost unplayable and 8 in 8, 3 more to go. Come on Team India #INDvsSA.” “From @ImRo45’s aggressive start to @imVkohli’s composed 49th ODI ton, from @imjadeja’s cameo with the bat to his magical spell with the ball, it was a magnificent show of skills and consistency from Team India. Complete domination!” wrote the legendary India women’s captain Mithali Raj.