Proud of knock and milestone: Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli had every reason to be a proud man after the knock he played and the milestone he achieved in the second ODI against the West Indies in Visakhapatnam on Wednesday.
He got the required 81 to be the fastest to reach 10,000 runs in ODI cricket and finished with an unbeaten 157 to power India to 321 for six before the game ended in a tie. Despite the let-off on 44, it will go down as one of Kohli’s best innings.
“Personally, I am pretty proud of my innings and the milestone,” the India captain said during the post-match presentation.
“The pitch was drastically different in the second innings. We were looking at a total of around 275-280, but then I got going and we got those 30-40 runs extra.”
The game looked to be slipping from India’s grasp during the game-changing partnership between Shai Hope and Shimron Hetmyer, and the fifth-wicket stand between Hope and Rovman Powell that brought the Windies’ required rate to less than six an over. But Jason Holder’s run out brought India back in the game.
Kohli lauded his bowlers for helping the team claw their way back into the game thereafter. “When the run rate fell under six, West Indies were in a strong position to finish off well.
“But then Kuldeep (Yadav) got us back in the game. (Yuzvendra) Chahal bowled a brilliant over later and Shami, Umesh also came back beautifully. And the game nicely drifted in the last seven overs, especially in the last five-six overs.
“In the end, we had almost got the game, but then one boundary off Umesh off the (batsman’s) shoe and one in the end, a couple of inches away from Rayudu from pulling it in... We all need to enjoy the game.
“We obviously would look at the negatives and positives. I’m sure everyone enjoyed and the Windies deserved a draw at least and I think we did well to sneak in a tie,” Kohli said.
Kohli was all praise for Hope, who hit an unbeaten 123 to prevent India from taking a 2-0 lead.
“I’ve watched Shai since that Headingley game (against England last year). He plays classy knocks and even Hetmyer as well.
“Both of them played really, really well. Hats off to their stroke-play.
“They showed great heart, especially after being three down… Beautiful partnership between both those guys, but the way two teams played, I think it was a fair result in the end.”
The skipper appreciated his pick for the No. 4 spot, Ambati Rayudu, who hit 73 and played a solid role in the crucial 139-run stand for the third wicket with Kohli. “Rayudu was very professional in this game.
“I have mentioned in a media conference before that he is someone we are looking at as a permanent No. 4. He reads situations very well. He plays spin really well and tackles fast bowling well too.
“He is a smart cricketer and very aware. He is in good momentum and good form, and that augurs really well for us,” Kohli emphasised.