World Cup 2023: Virat Kohli, India’s cricketing maestro, has once again captivated the world by matching the legendary Sachin Tendulkar’s record of 49 centuries in One Day Internationals. This landmark century came during a critical match against South Africa at the historic Eden Gardens on November 5, where Kohli played a magnificent knock in his 277th inning.

As accolades poured in from all corners of the globe for the former Indian captain’s remarkable feat, an unexpected twist came from Sri Lanka. Kusal Mendis, the experienced batsman and the acting captain of the Sri Lankan side, gave a reaction that has since sparked waves across the cricketing fraternity. In a scenario where appreciation was anticipated, Mendis’s response to a question about congratulating Kohli was a jarring, “Why would I congratulate him?”, accompanied by laughter. This reaction was caught on video and has since stirred a mix of support and criticism among fans, with some questioning the spirit of sportsmanship.

World Cup 2023: On the eve of their eighth league match in the tournament against Bangladesh, set to be played at Delhi’s Arun Jaitley Stadium, Mendis’s comments during the pre-match press conference have become a talking point.

Meanwhile, this century is not just a notch on Kohli’s belt but a cherished personal triumph, as November 5 also marked his 35th birthday. It is reminiscent of his first ODI century scored against Sri Lanka in 2009, on the same ground in Kolkata, making the occasion all the more poignant. Standing on the cusp of overtaking Tendulkar’s record, Kohli is just a step away from setting a new benchmark in the annals of ODI cricket.

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli

World Cup 2023: Kohli’s bat was in full flow against the Proteas as he scored an unbeaten 101 off 121 balls, which included a bevy of ten boundaries. His efforts were pivotal in propelling India to a robust total of 326 runs for the loss of five wickets. The South African team, unable to withstand the might of the Indian bowling attack, was dismantled for a meager 83 runs within 27.1 overs, showcasing the indomitable cricketing spirit that Kohli and his team brought to the field.

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