'Why would I?' - Kusal Mendis' epic reaction on being informed of Virat Kohli's 49th ton
Stand-in Sri Lanka captain Kusal Mendis made an unusual statement following Virat Kohli's 49th ODI hundred in the match between India and South Africa on November 5 at Eden Gardens in Kolkata. This milestone allowed him to match the record set by the legendary cricketer Sachin Tendulkar for the highest number of ODI centuries.
Kohli's century was the result of a hard-fought innings on a turning pitch and in scorching weather conditions. He scored 101 runs from 127 balls, including 10 fours.
This century marked Kohli's fourth in World Cups, placing him third in India's list of century-makers behind Tendulkar with six and Rohit Sharma with seven centuries. It also marked his second century in this particular World Cup.
Kusal Mendis left perplexed by the inquiry
This achievement is particularly significant as it took place on the same ground where Kohli notched his maiden international hundred against Sri Lanka in 2009. On that day, he had taken the crease after Tendulkar's dismissal and forged a match-winning 224-run partnership with fellow centurion Gautam Gambhir.
During the press conference preceding the Sri Lanka vs Bangladesh match in Delhi, Mendis was informed that Kohli had matched Tendulkar's record of 49 ODI hundreds. The Lankan skipper appeared slightly perplexed, chuckled and inquired why the reporter was extending congratulations to the star batter for the accomplishment.
"Why I would congratulate him?" responded Mendis.
Journalist " Virat Just scored his 49th ODI ton. Do you like to congratulate him?"— Out Of Context Cricket PK (@GemsOfCrickett) November 5, 2023
Kusak Mendis" Why I would congratulate him"😭😭😭#INDvSA #INDvsSA #SAvIND #ViratKohli #CWC2023 pic.twitter.com/DAqh2oeO5e