Another day, another breezy half-century score, with a magical ’49’ looking inevitable, but Virat Kohli once again fell short. For the fourth time in World Cup 2023, the former India captain went past the fifty-plus mark but failed to get to the triple-figure score. On Thursday, in front of a packed Wankhede crowd in Mumbai, where 12 years ago he had lifted India’s second World Cup trophy, Kohli had the big occasion of matching his idol Sachin Tendulkar’s record at his own den, but was eventually undone by a slower one from Dilshan Madushanka, leaving his 12 runs short of the one of the most-anticipated feats of world cricket.
Irrespective of the failed shot at one of Sachin’s most elusive records, Kohli did manage to shatter one of the batting legend’s long-standing ODI feat en route to his knock of 88 off 94 against Sri Lanka in India’s seventh World Cup 2023 game.
Shortly before scoring his 70th ODI fifty, Kohli amassed 1000 runs in 2023 becoming the third India batter in the calendar year to the milestone after Shubman Gill (1426 runs) and Rohit Sharma (1060 runs). This was the eighth time Kohli scored 1000 or more runs in a single calendar year during his illustrious career – 2011 (1381 runs), 2012 (1026 runs), 2013 (1268 runs), 2014 (1054 runs), 2017 (1460 runs), 2018 (1202 runs), 2019 (1377 runs), 2023 – and hence shattered Sachin’s record of seven such scores, the last of which happened in 2007.
On reaching the half-century mark, Kohli also went past India captain Rohit to once again take the second spot for most fifty-plus knocks in World Cups. Kohli has 13 to his name with only Sachin standing ahead of him with 21 such scores in 44 innings.
Kohli, who had suffered a rare dismissal for a duck in the previous World Cup game, looked in sublime touch on Thursday as he was racing away towards that big century alongside Shubman Gill, who was on 92. However, Dilshan Madushanka, who had earlier dismissed Rohit in the opening over, struck twice in two overs to dismiss both Gill and Kohli, thus ending India’s 189-run stand for the second wicket.