Gavaskar, Shastri salute Kohli as record-breaking ton powers India to WC final | Crickit

Gavaskar, Shastri salute ‘superhuman' Kohli as record-breaking ton sends India to WC final: ‘They will remember…’

By, New Delhi
Nov 16, 2023 10:27 AM IST

Sunil Gavaskar and Ravi Shastri reflected on Virat Kohli's record-breaking century against New Zealand in the World Cup semi-finals.

He is the best and he is only getting better. Kane Williamson kept things short when the New Zealand captain reflected on Virat Kohli's masterful knock against India's bogey team in the first semi-final of the ICC World Cup 2023 on Wednesday. From Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar to tennis icon Novak Djokovic, a host of luminaries from the sports fraternity congratulated Kohli on becoming the first batter to hit 50 One Day International (ODI) centuries.

Shastri and Gavaskar lauded Kohli as his record-breaking century guided India to the World Cup final(ANI-PTI-AP)
Shastri and Gavaskar lauded Kohli as his record-breaking century guided India to the World Cup final(ANI-PTI-AP)

Former Indian skipper Kohli slammed a record-breaking century to seal India's berth in the World Cup final. Kohli's milestone century followed by a bowling masterclass from Mohammed Shami powered Team India to a 70-run win over New Zealand in the first semi-final of the ICC World Cup at the famous Wankhede Stadium. Talking about Kohli achieving his latest milestone at the World Cup, batting legend Sunil Gavaskar opined that the ex-India skipper has been a ‘superhuman’ for the Men In Blue at the ICC event.

Gavaskar salutes ‘superhuman’ Kohli

"Yes. It’s very difficult to put it in words, to what it means, not just to him and his family, but to all those who love Indian cricket. Because, look, you always have people who have set the bar and the standard. Then you want somebody to come and raise the bar a little further, and that’s exactly what Virat Kohli has done with his performances. He has been absolutely superhuman in this particular World Cup. He has got almost 700 runs, 2 hundreds in this tournament, plus fifties in about six other innings," Gavaskar told Star Sports.

What records Kohli created at World Cup semi-finals?

Kohli played a stroke-filled knock of 117 to break Tendulkar's record tally of 49 centuries in the 50-over format. Kohli fired two sixes and creamed nine boundaries to break a plethora of records at the World Cup semi-finals. Centuries from Kohli and Shreyas Iyer (105) propelled India to 397-4 in the 50-over contest. The 35-year-old also eclipsed Tendulkar to achieve a staggering feat in World Cup cricket. The former India upstaged the Master Blaster for the most runs in a single ODI World Cup. He went past Tendulkar's record of 673 runs by taking a single off Glenn Phillips. Ex-India captain Kohli is also the leading run-getter at the 2023 World Cup.

'They will remember November 15th'

"So, he has dominated the batting. Just a little while ago, he was kind enough to compliment his teammates for allowing him to play the way he did and that they were taking the chances at the other end. So, clearly, this is a fantastic team effort. But, even in that team effort, to have a super achievement like that, is a very, very special day. All those who are here should consider themselves fortunate that they were there. They will remember November 15th as the day where they were at the Wankhede Stadium and they saw Virat Kohli score a 50th century in one-day cricket. Nobody has done that before. 49 was the highest and he’s got the 50th,” Gavaskar added.

Shastri recalls Kohli's century drought

Lauding Kohli for leading India's batting charge at the World Cup, former Indian head coach Ravi Shastri praised the star batter for overcoming his lean patch in international cricket. Kohli recorded his first international century in nearly three years at the Asia Cup last year. Waiting three years for his 71st century, Kohli now has notched up 80 hundreds in international cricket. Kohli also has eight 50-plus scores at the 2023 World Cup - the most by any batter in a single campaign.

“I think it he deserves every bit of it, you know. Just for his work ethics, professionalism, attention to detail and the way he prepares. He went through a period where he couldn’t get a run, couldn’t get a hundred for 3 years, but his work ethics never changed. He was determined, he carried on in the same fashion, and he’s been rewarded for that hard work he put in at that time. To get over 700 runs in a World Cup, and the first time in a knockout to go past 50, so you know it’s a special day for him,” Shastri added.

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