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IND Vs NZ, Semi-Final, ICC Cricket World Cup 2023: Novak Djokovic, Yuvraj Singh, And Others Praise Virat Kohli After 50th ODI Century

Virat Kohli earned universal acclaim for his record-breaking 50th one day international ton for India against New Zealand during the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023. Tennis star Novak Djokovic, former Indian all-rounder Yuvraj Singh, and Indian cricketing legend Sunil Gavaskar were among those who sang Kohli's praises.

ICC Cricket world cup IND Vs NZ Semi-Final: Virat Kohli scored his 50th century
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If maestro Sachin Tendulkar had set the bar, a "super human" Virat Kohli came and raised it a little further with his 50th ODI century, said Little Master Sunil Gavaskar as the cricketing world hailed in unison to the record-breaking feat. (As It Happened | Scorecard | Full Coverage)

Tennis legend Novak Djokovic also sent a congratulatory message to Kohli. "Congratulations Virat. Legendary," wrote Djokovic on his Instagram story.      

The premier Indian batter took three innings to first equal and then surpass his idol Tendulkar's ODI century No 49 and also became the first batter to score 700 runs in a single World Cup edition.

"Yes. It’s very difficult to put it in words, to what it means, not just to him and his family, but to all those who love Indian cricket," Gavaskar said on Star Sports.

"Because, look, you always have people who have set the bar and the standard. Then you want somebody to come and raise the bar a little further, and that’s exactly what Virat Kohli has done with his performances. 

"He has been absolutely super human in this particular World Cup. He has got almost 700 runs, 2 hundreds in this tournament, plus fifties in about six other innings," the Indian batting legend added. 

"All those who are here should consider themselves fortunate that they were there. They will remember November 15th as the day where they were at the Wankhede Stadium and they saw Virat Kohli score a 50th century in one-day cricket. Nobody has done that before. 49 was the highest and he’s got the 50th."

Kohli notched up the 50th hundred off 105 balls, with a flick for two off Lockie Ferguson in the 42nd over of India's innings against New Zealand in the first World Cup semi-final here.

India posted a herculean 397/4 before bundling out New Zealand for 327 in 48.5 overs with Mohammed Shami returning with magnificent figures of 7/57.

Greatest of this generation: Yuvraj

Congratulating Kohli, India's 2011 World Cup winning hero Yuvraj Singh termed him the greatest of this generation.

"I’m sure his late father must be very proud today and smiling from the clouds above looking at his son !! By far greatest of this generation," Yuvraj posted. 

Former India batter VVS Laxman said Kohli is now in a league of his own.

"What a sense of occasion, what a knock! Another special hundred from a man who has made a habit of it at the World Cup.

"Virat Kohli is now in a league of one, going past the great Sachin Tendulkar's record of 49 ODI tons. To do it in the World Cup semis is extra special. Take a bow, champion!" wrote Laxman in X.

"Virat Kohli. GOAT," wrote Akash Chopra.

Kohli: India's control room

Former India allrounder Irfan Pathan described Kohli as Indian cricket control room.

"Virat Kohli Indian cricket Ka control room. Yaha se Jeet control hoti hai ab to sabse zyada shatak Ka control bhi @imVkohli ke naam (Virat Kohli is the control room of Indian cricket. Now, even the control of the most centuries is in the name of Kohli)," Irfan posted.

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"50th ODI ton is not just a number. It's an extraordinary tale of cricketing greatness," described former India opener Robin Uthappa.

"Kohli's century – a cricketing blockbuster with a script that deserves all the applause! 50 -One Day Hundreds!," wrote Shikhar Dhawan.   

"Here's the moment we've all been waiting for! Kohli, the maestro, crafting another magnificent century & achieving the milestone of scoring most centuries in one day cricket! Absolute brilliance, King Kohli," former India lefthander Suresh Raina posted on X.

Reactions also poured in from across the border with Pakistani great Wasim Akram terming it as the "Kohli era".

"We live in Virat Kohli era. Congratulations emperor."

"Take a bow Virat. Superb milestone and no better occasion for it than a World Cup semi final. Your commitment and dedication to the game is what has got you here and you deserve each and every bit of this success," posted Shoaib Malik. 

England great Kevin Pietersen was also quick to acknowledge Kohli's feat.

"He kept quiet when they doubted him and has let his bat do the talking, screaming & shouting. Love so much what you’ve done today, buddy!" wrote Pietersen on his X handle.

"Just incredible. World Cup semi... Sachin overlooking in stands and Kohli delivers No 50," was how former England captain Michael Vaughan described the knock.

Kohli had a memorable celebration first leaping in joy after reaching the milestone and then he bowed down to Tendulkar in the stands and the maestro heartily applauded from the stands.

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"That's a World Cup moment to treasure in history books. 50th ODI hundred and celebrating with utmost respect to the Little Master. Genius," wrote former Aussie leftarm wrist spinner Brad Hogg.

"Kohli with a great sense of occasion befitting a great player moves to ODI century No 50 in ICC World Cup Semi-Final 2023.

"Under the gaze of Sachin Tendulkar, Sir Viv Richards, Sunil Gavaskar, David Beckham and several sporting icons. Wankede is a special venue," wrote Ian Bishop, the West Indies pacer-turned-commentator.

Afghanistan spin wizard Rashid Khan also noted Kohli's feat: "Always a treat to watch him play. A wonderful innings and an even bigger feat. Take a bow Kohli you beauty."

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