Legendary South African batter AB de Villiers lauded star India batter Virat Kohli for his record-equalling 49th ODI ton and revealed that his former Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) teammate and skipper looked laser-focussed when he met him at Kolkata before India’s Cricket World Cup match against South Africa.
Virat tied with Indian legend Sachin Tendulkar’s record of 49 ODI tons and performances from Shreyas Iyer, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav and Mohammed Shami proved instrumental in India’s eighth successive win in CWC 2023 as they beat Proteas by 243 runs.
“First of all, it was obviously not part of the plan (the meeting with Virat). It just happened that way, but things have always happened that way for the two of us.
I was here this morning and I walked straight into him and I was like woah, I see you on your birthday and you are playing and you are about to match the record of the great Sachin Tendulkar and I just remember seeing those eyes. He was so laser-focused,” said De Villiers to ICC as quoted by ESPNCricinfo.
De Villiers said that he is inpressed by Virat’s century, but not surprised because it is difficult to stop Virat once he settles and he still “wants more”.
“I gave him that big bear hug, and I must say I’m impressed but I’m not surprised.
When Virat Kohli is focused, when he is playing well, its very difficult to stop. It is all about the desire. He still wants it, and he wants it more. I am expecting even more fireworks from here on,” said De Villiers.
De Villiers expressed happiness for Virat’s ton, saying, “I am very happy for my brother. That is what he is to me. We come a long way together. We’ve got great memories on and off the field.
And even though it is against South Africa, it made me sad in a way, but, I am very happy for my brother. What a great man,” said the Proteas batting legend.
In eight ICC CWC matches, Virat has scored 543 rund at an average of over 108, with two centuries and four fifties. His best score is 103*.
India will take on Netherlands in their final league stage match on November 12. (ANI)