Kohli’s century came in 119 balls, embellished with 10 well-struck boundaries, at the iconic Eden Gardens in Kolkata on a Sunday.For Kohli’s fans, there couldn’t have been a more perfect occasion to witness him equalling the record on his birthday.Acknowledging Kohli’s milestone, former India head coach and commentatorRavi Shastri attributed the nation’s obsession with centuries and records to the influence of Sunil Gavaskar.
He also emphasised that Kohli had to endure what Tendulkar went through in his quest of chasing 34th Test ton to draw level with Gavaskar.
“It’s amazing. We are a country obsessed with records. We are obsessed with hundreds. And Sunny was the trendsetter. I remember when Sachin Tendulkar was chasing his 34th, it wasn’t easy. He had many sleepless nights, he would get out in the 70s and 80s. And it took a while, just like it has taken Virat Kohli,” Shastri said during the mid-innings show on Star Sports.
Virat Kohli equals Sachin’s ODI century record with 49th ton on birthday
“Today, it was a very calculated innings. He started off quick, when the ball was coming onto the bat. And when the ball started dripping, it wasn’t easy to pick the bowlers. So, he soaked the pressure, bid his time, and upped the ante,” Shastri further said.
It took Kohli 277 innings to score 49 hundreds at this level compared to the 438 required by fellow Indian 2011 World Cup-winner 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.