Rajat Sharma


AKB30 It was a shower of records at Mumbai’s Wankhede stadium on Wednesday during the first World Cup semifinal. Team India crushed New Zealand to enter the final. The foundation for the win was laid by Virat Kohli (117), Rohit Sharma(47), Shubman Gill (80 not out), Shreyas Iyer(105) and K L Rahul (39 not out). Bowler Mohammed Shami’s magical figure of 7/57 in 9.5 overs did the rest. It was India’s tenth consecutive win in the ODI World Cup. Kohli is now the world’s only batter to have scored 50 centuries in ODI cricket. He broke batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar’s world record of 49 ODI tons. Kohli also became the highest scorer in a World Cup. He has made 711 runs in 10 matches till now. Earlier, the record was in Sachin’s name, when he had made 673 runs in the World Cup. Virat Kohli also broke another Tendulkar record by making the highest number of half centuries in World Cup. Virat made eight half-centuries, while Sachin made seven. Kohli broke another record of hitting the largest number of boundaries in World Cup. Till now, Kohli has hit 64 boundaries in this World Cup. Team India also set a new record. It scored the highest number of runs in World Cup knockout matches. I have already said in the beginning that it was a shower of records at Wankhede stadium. Almost the entire stadium rose in standing ovation when Virat Kohli completed his 50th ODI century. Sachin Tendulkar was sitting in the stands. He congratulated Kohli with this tweet: “The first time I met you in the Indian dressing room, you were pranked by other teammates into touching my feet. I couldn’t stop laughing that day. But soon, you touched my heart with your passion and skill. I am so happy that that young boy has grown into a ‘Virat’ player. I couldn’t be happier that an Indian broke my record. And to do it on the biggest stage – in the World Cup semi-final – and at my home ground is the icing on the cake.” Life partner Anushka Sharma congratulated Virat on social media (Instagram): “God is the best scriptwriter! Utterly grateful to him for blessing me with your love, and to watch you grow from strength to strength and achieve all that you have and will, being honest to yourself and to the sport always. You are truly God’s child.” On the ground, after scoring his century, Virat and Anushka blew kisses at each other. Later, Virat Kohli said, “I said back in Kolkata that the great man (Sachin Tendulkar) had congratulated me, and it has been an incredible feeling. It feels like a dream. Too good to be true. Happy with the way things have gone for us. It is a very good score (397 for 4) on the board.” As congratulations started pouring in from top cricketers across the world, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted: “Virat Kohli has not just scored his 50th ODI century, but has also exemplified the spirit of excellence and perseverance that defines the best of sportsmanship. This remarkable milestone is a testament to his enduring dedication and exceptional talent.” It is truly a dream come true for Kohli. He broke Sachin’s world record in his presence. Shubman Gill and Shreyas Iyer gave good partnership to Kohli on the ground. Shreyas completed his ton off only 69 balls. This was the fastest century in a World Cup knockout match. K L Rahul hit 39 runs off 20 balls to take Team India’s score to 397. Let me point out, cricketers who played with Sachin Tendulkar never dreamed that any other player could break his world record. I was present at a function to celebrate Sachin’s 100 hundred. At that event, Sachin had predicted that one day Virat would break his 100 hundred record. On Wednesday, as Kohli made his 50th ODI century, Sachin was seen clapping. He went to Anushka Sharma in the stands to congratulate her. Sachin Tendulkar is the world’s only player to have made 100 centuries. Virat has completed 80 now. Looking at his fitness record and his passion to score, I have full confidence that Virat Kohli will one day break Sachin’s 100 hundred world record. Virat is a great cricketer. He has set a shining example before the world with his batting skills, his fitness, his dedication and his graceful public conduct. Virat inspires people. I pray that Virat should continue to touch greater heights and inspire our youth. My best wishes and congratulations.

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