As the cricketing world reverberates with applause for Virat Kohli’s monumental 50th ODI century against New Zealand, cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar joined in the celebration in a unique and heartwarming way. Tendulkar not only congratulated Kohli on his remarkable feat but also shared a delightful anecdote from the early days when some mischievous teammates played a prank on the young Kohli in the dressing room.

A historic knock by Virat Kohli and a bow to the master

In the first semi-final of ODI World Cup 2023 at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium, Virat showcased a masterclass of batting prowess against New Zealand and hammered a sensation ton. His breathtaking century not only marked his 50th ton in the ODI format but also surpassed Tendulkar’s record of most hundreds in the 50-over format. The significance of achieving this milestone at Tendulkar’s home ground added a touch of poetic brilliance to the moment.

As Kohli reached his century, he made a heartwarming gesture by bowing down to the legendary Tendulkar, acknowledging the inspiration he drew from the cricketing icon. Present at the Wankhede ground alongside football star David Beckham, Tendulkar was filled with immense pride, and the same was reflected in his words following Kohli’s knock.

Sachin Tendulkar recalls the prank played on Virat Kohli

In a Twitter post and during an interaction with Star Sports on live television, Tendulkar reminisced about the time when Virat first entered the Indian dressing room. The cricketing maestro revealed that some mischievous teammates orchestrated a prank, convincing Kohli that it was a team tradition or ritual to touch Tendulkar’s feet. The young and unsuspecting Kohli obliged, creating a light-hearted moment that left everyone in splits.

Also READ: ‘You are truly gods child’ – Anushka Sharma pens a heartfelt note for Virat Kohli after his record ton against New Zealand 

Sachin Tendulkar’s transformational words and praise

However, Tendulkar quickly shifted from laughter to admiration as he acknowledged Kohli’s rise from that young boy to an athlete who touched the hearts of everyone with his unwavering passion and skill for the game. The cricketing icon expressed his joy and pride in witnessing Kohli evolve into a ‘Virat’ player, breaking records and leaving an indelible mark on the cricketing world.

“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. 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 Tendulkar.

India’s dominance seals the deal

As far as the result of the semi-final clash is concerned, India’s top-order batters, including Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Shubman Gill, and Rohit Sharma, displayed exceptional prowess in the high-stakes encounter against New Zealand, posting a formidable total of 397-4 in their allotted 50 overs.

The bowling department, led by Mohammed Shami’s historic 7-wicket haul, further solidified India’s dominance, and they eventually defeated the Blackcaps by 70 runs to secure a spot in the final of ODI World Cup 2023.

Also READ: Tennis star Novak Djokovic congratulates Virat Kohli on his historic 50th ODI ton during IND vs NZ semifinal

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