Virat Kohli in action for the Indian cricket team during Cricket World Cup 2023© AFP

Virat Kohli’s last Cricket World Cup hundred had come in 2015 against Pakistan at Adelaide and he was determined to make it count against Bangladesh on Thursday. Thousands of fans watched with bated breadth as Kohli completed his 48th ODI century. KL Rahul helped his iconic teammate get to the three-figure mark by refusing singles and letting Kohli score the 25-odd runs to complete his century. Kohli, who with 48 hundred is now just one short of legendary Sachin Tendulkar’s world record of 49 tons, cheekily apologised to teammate Ravindra Jadeja for “stealing” what could have been a sure-shot player of the match award for Saurashtra all-rounder.

Jadeja, who returned with figures of 2/38 on a batting belter along with a stunning catch at point would have got that trophy on any other day.

“Sorry for stealing it (the player of the Match award) from Jaddu. I wanted to make a big contribution. I have made fifties in World Cups, wanted to finish it off this time,” Kohli said at post-match presentation ceremony.

In fact, Bangladesh bowlers presented Kohli with a couple of free-hits and he couldn’t stop cracking a joke about it.

“I was telling Shubman that even if you dream about this situation, you go back to sleep. It was a dream start. It just calms you down.” The master chaser admitted that it was a great strip to bat on.

“The pitch was good, allowed me to play my game – hit the gaps and find the boundaries whenever I could.” The team is gelling well, said the elder statesman of the team.

“There is great atmosphere in the dressing room. The spirit is there for everyone to see. You need to create some momentum in the changing room to come out and play like this,” he added.

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