Virat Kohli gifted himself a memorable 49th ODI century, equalling Sachin Tendulkar’s long-standing record, on his 35th birthday. Kohli’s brilliant unbeaten 166 off 110 balls anchored India to a daunting 326/5 after winning the toss and batting first against South Africa at a packed Eden Gardens.
Kohli Overcomes Early Struggles to Score Century in Testing Conditions
Kohli batted superbly until the end of the innings despite early struggles on a challenging surface. Keshav Maharaj and Tabraiz Shamsi challenged Kohli with drift, dip and turn. Maharaj nearly got Kohli’s edge multiple times with rippling deliveries. But Kohli overcame the passage of play against spin to pick apart the seamers later. His experience and composure were evident in pacing his innings perfectly. Additionally, you can also read about- Virat Kohli’s 49th ODI Hundred on Birthday Equals Sachin Tendulkar’s Milestone
Iyer, Rohit Lay Foundation for Kohli to Bat Through
With no Hardik Pandya, Kohli refused risks, focused on batting deep. Shreyas Iyer (77 off 87) took on the spinners, allowing Kohli to settle in. Suryakumar Yadav (22) and Ravindra Jadeja (29) also kept the scoreboard ticking. Earlier, Rohit Sharma’s attacking 40 off 24 balls gave India quick momentum. His partnership with Kohli blunted South Africa’s new ball threat.
Bowlers Decimate South Africa to Defend Strong Total
In response, South Africa capitulated to 83 all out in just 27.1 overs. Mohammed Siraj and Jadeja ripped through the top order before Mohammed Shami and Kuldeep Yadav polished off the tail. Quinton de Kock chopped on for 2 before Jadeja breached Temba Bavuma’s defenses. At one point, Kuldeep wasn’t even needed. But his late strikes wrapped up a thumping win, India’s 8th straight in the World Cup.
Team INDIA on a roll 🇮🇳
Congratulations to the Men in Blue for yet another emphatic victory.
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) November 5, 2023
Kohli’s Special Innings Fitting for Momentous Occasion
Kohli’s brilliant 166 on his birthday in front of a packed Eden Gardens was a captain’s knock when India needed it most. By equalling Sachin’s record of 49 ODI tons, Kohli cemented his status among the best to ever play white ball cricket. With India’s World Cup charge in full flow, Kohli’s special innings proves he remains the heartbeat of the team.