Birthday boy Kohli equals Tendulkar's record 49 ODI hundreds
India's Virat Kohli equaled Sachin Tendulkar's record of 49 one-day international hundreds when he reached three figures in a World Cup match against South Africa on Sunday.
Kohli, on his 35th birthday, got to the landmark in 119 balls, including 10 fours, at Kolkata's Eden Gardens.
It had taken him 277 innings to score 49 hundreds at this level compared to the 438 required by Tendulkar.
"Every opportunity to play for India is a big one, to be able to ton up on my birthday is a stuff of dreams," said Kohli whose century added to his ongoing total of over 26,000 international runs.
Kohli's 101 not out was the centrepiece of unbeaten tournament hosts India's 326-5 in their 50 overs.
"It is something you dream about as a child. I am just happy to help the team as much as possible," added Kohli.
Together with Shreyas Iyer (77) he shared a third-wicket partnership of 134 after India captain Rohit Sharma (40) had won the toss on what turned out to be a tricky pitch.
"It was a wicket that was tricky to bat on. We got a great start. My job was to keep the momentum going when I got in," added Kohli.
"But after ten overs, the ball started gripping and the wicket started slowing down. My role was to bat deep and till the end after the openers fell."
He added: "Shreyas starting hitting well as well. We were not thinking we would get to 326 but that's what happens when you dig deep and take the game into the last few overs.
"Me and Shreyas had a lot of practice sessions before the Asia Cup. We said that this was the partnership to take centre stage though the middle overs. We are comfortable rotating the strike against the spinners and putting the loose balls away so credit to him."
Both India and second-placed South Africa, whose only defeat at this 10-team tournament so far was a shock loss to non-Test side the Netherlands, have already qualified for the semi-finals.
Tributes started to arrive for Kohli.
"This is the best birthday gift from Virat Kohli to the fans of team India & entire cricket fraternity," wrote Pakistan legend Shahid Afridi on X, formerly Twitter.