Happy to see young boy grow into 'Virat' player: Sachin Tendulkar after Virat Kohli smashes 50th ODI ton
"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," wrote Sachin Tendulkar after Virat Kohli surpassed his record to smash his 50th ODI century in the India vs New Zealand ODI World Cup 2023 semifinal clash.
In a historic moment for Indian cricket, Virat Kohli, with his unwavering dedication and exceptional skill, etched his name in the record books by becoming the first batter to score 50 ODI centuries. Surpassing his cricketing idol Sachin Tendulkar during the ODI World Cup 2023 semifinal against New Zealand at Mumbai's Wankhede Stadium on Wednesday, Kohli achieved a milestone that transcends individual records.
The significance of this achievement was not lost on Tendulkar himself, who witnessed Kohli's remarkable feat from the stands. The master and the disciple, both adorned in the iconic blue jersey of the Indian cricket team, shared a poignant moment that symbolized the evolution of greatness within the sport.
Tendulkar, acknowledging the passing of the torch with grace and pride, shared heartfelt words about Kohli's journey and growth as a cricketer. In a statement, Tendulkar reminisced about their first meeting in the Indian dressing room, recalling a playful prank by teammates that involved Kohli touching his feet. Little did Tendulkar know that the young boy from that day would evolve into a player of Virat's stature.
"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," wrote Tendulkar on Instagram.
Expressing joy and contentment, Tendulkar added, "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."
The mutual respect and camaraderie between Tendulkar and Kohli have been evident throughout their cricketing journey. Tendulkar, often referred to as the 'God of Cricket,' graciously passing the mantle to Kohli further cements the bond between generations of Indian cricketing excellence.
As cricket enthusiasts and fans celebrated Kohli's monumental achievement, Tendulkar's words resonated as a testament to the continuity of greatness within Indian cricket. The passing of records from one legend to another encapsulates the rich legacy and spirit of the sport, creating moments that transcend statistics and echo the heart and soul of cricket.
In this era-defining instance, where records were broken and milestones were reached, Sachin Tendulkar's reaction stands as a tribute to the enduring spirit of the game and the seamless transition of excellence from one cricketing icon to the next. Kohli's journey to 50 ODI centuries is not just a personal triumph; it is a chapter in the collective story of Indian cricket's indomitable spirit.