India v New Zealand: David Beckham and Sachin Tendulkar laud Virat Kohli over 50th ODI ton

India batter becomes first to a half-century of tons in the format, as hosts rack up hefty total in World Cup semi-final

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Virat Kohli has become the first cricketer to hit 50 centuries in One-Day International cricket.

The India star reached the milestone as India racked up a massive 397-4 in their World Cup semi-final against New Zealand in Mumbai.

It took him past the record he had shared with Sachin Tendulkar, who was at the Wankhede Stadium to see it happen.

Despite suffering from cramps in the intense heat and humidity, Kohli ran two then leapt for joy as he reached three figures.

He then gestured to his wife, Anushka Sharma, in the stands, and bowed to Tendulkar.

“All this for me feels like a dream, too good to be true,” Kohli said in a TV interview between innings.

“It feels surreal. If I could paint the perfect picture, this would be the picture.”

After the innings, Kohli was congratulated by both Tendulkar and David Beckham, the former England football star, who is attending the game in his role as a Unicef ambassador.

“We have witnessed something special today,” Beckham said.

“Obviously the love [the fans] have for Sachin and Virat, for him to do something like that in front of his family, friends and teammates is an incredible moment.”

Tendulkar has a picture of Kohli carrying him around the field after India won the 2011 World Cup in the same stadium on his X webpage.

He said he was delighted it was an Indian player who had broken his record.

“Big, big congratulations to Virat,” Tendulkar said. “He made it look easy. He has gone to 50 hundreds in the ODI format, and it is incredible. We are all super proud of him.

“I still remember the first day when he got into the Indian dressing room, the other players played a prank on him.

“They made him touch my feet saying this was a tradition, and that ‘If you take his blessings, you will have a good career.’ I was laughing.

“To see the same player growing so beautifully and achieve so many laurels for our country, I am very proud.”

Updated: November 15, 2023, 1:51 PM