It's a special feeling, says Kohli after his 48th ODI century at World Cup

Kohli now needs just one more century to equal India great Tendulkar's all-time record of 49 ODI hundreds


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India's Virat Kohli celebrates after scoring a century against Bangladesh at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune on Thursday. — AFP
India's Virat Kohli celebrates after scoring a century against Bangladesh at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune on Thursday. — AFP

Published: Thu 19 Oct 2023, 10:37 PM

Last updated: Fri 20 Oct 2023, 8:41 AM

Virat Kohli said he was enjoying the "special feeling" of playing in a World Cup on home soil after his unbeaten century guided India to a dominant seven-wicket win over Bangladesh and left him in sight of Sachin Tendulkar's record for ODI hundreds.

Kohli made 103 not out with a six against spinner Nasum Ahmed, the shot also ending the match in a finish worthy of a Bollywood movie as India reached a target of 257 with more than eight overs to spare.

Kohli's 48th one-day international century left him just one shy of equalling India great Tendulkar's all-time record of 49 hundreds at this level.

But for Bangladesh, a third defeat in four matches left them with an uphill struggle to qualify for the semi-finals.

Chants of "Kohli!, Kohli!" rang round a crowd of over 33,000 as the former captain reached his third World Cup hundred and second against Bangladesh in style.

He faced 97 balls, including six fours and four sixes, with this century his third score in excess of fifty in four innings following contributions of 85 and 55 not out over Australia and Afghanistan.

"I've had a few fifties in World Cups and haven't converted them so I just wanted to finish the game off this time around," Kohli said afterwards.

"The pitch was pretty good, it allowed me to play my game and just hit the gaps."

India have now won all four of their matches in the tournament to date to go level on points with New Zealand who are on top of the table on the back of their better net run rate.

"There is a great atmosphere in the changing room, we're loving each other's company, the spirit is there for everyone to see on the field," said Kohli, who played alongside Tendulkar in the India team that defeated Sri Lanka in the 2011 World Cup final in Mumbai.

"We understand it's a long tournament and you need to create some momentum for the guys to come out and play like this.

"It's a special feeling playing at home in front of all these people and we just want to make the most of it."

Meanwhile, opener Shubman Gill, who made 53, said batting alongside India captain Rohit Sharma, who launched the chase on Thursday with a brisk 48, and Kohli was an education.

"To see how they go about their business in a World Cup and in big games is what I always try to learn from them," he said.

Gill, who put on 88 for the first wicket with Rohit and then shared a stand of 44 with Kohli, added: "I think there's a fine line between sometimes being too aggressive or going in the shell, especially playing big games.

"But I think the way they play, the way their mindset is playing those big games in the World Cup is what I try to learn."

Rohit on Hardik's fitness

Following India's emphatic win, skipper Rohit Sharma offered an update on the fitness of all-rounder Hardik Pandya, who injured his ankle while bowling.

"He (Pandya) pulled up a bit sore. There is no major damage, that is good for us. But obviously, with an injury like that, we have to assess every day and we will do whatever is required," he said.

Brief scores:

India beat Bangladesh by seven wickets.

Bangladesh 256/8 in 50 overs (Litton Das 66, Tanzid Hasan 51, Mahmudullah 46, Mushfiqur Rahim 38; Ravindra Jadeja 2/38, Jasprit Bumrah 2/41, Mohammed Siraj 2/60)

India 261/3 in 41.3 overs (Virat Kohli 103 not out, Shubman Gill 53, Rohit Sharma 48, KL Rahul 34; Mehidy Hasan Miraz 2/47)

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