Virat Kohli’s made vein of kind continue as the Indian captain smashed his 36 ODI fifty in India’s eight-wicket win over West Indies in the first ODI of the five-match series at the Barsapara Cricket Stadium in Guwahati.
Kohli, who returned to the Indian squad to play the two-match test series versus West Indies while missing the Asia Cup in UAE, looked unfazed and untroubled within the 50-over format, despite not enjoying a limited-over match since July 17, where he smashed 71 against England in the last ODI of the three-match series in Leeds.
The Indian captain came to bat with the fall of ShikharDhawan’s wicket in the second over in India’s chase of 323.
With the score on 10/1 when 2 overs and debutant Oshane Thomas breathing fire, the need was to play sensible cricket and build an innings.
But, the 29-year-old had different plans.
Kohli came out all guns blazing and attacked both Thomas and Kemar Roach. Thomas, who was bowling with pace, was smashed round the park which threw him off his length and afterconceeding thirty six runs from four overs, he was taken off the attack by Jason Holder.
Kohli’sattacking game allowed Rohit Sharma to settle in and play his natural game as his partner on the opposite side was taking care of the run-rate, something that Dhawan does when they open along.
He reached his 49th half-century off 35 balls with a cut over the point fielder ChandrapaulHemraj of the bowling off Ashley Nurse. Replays later showed that the ball was simply five cm on top of Hemraj which was most likely the sole time he came close to getting out.
Following the 50, he slowed down but made sure score board ticking and India never lagged back. He paced innings all right because the spinners slowed the games down and created it tough for the Indian batsmen to attain runs.
And this way he brought up his 36th ODI ton in the 27th over with a boundary off Roach as India marched on in their chase. The hundred was Kohli’s fourth in 2018. He had earlier scored three century against South Africa in January.
This was also Kohli’s 22nd hundred while chasing a target in ODI. The century created a landmark of 60 international hundreds (36th in ODI and 24th in tests) and became the fastest to do so. He reached the landmark in 386 innings, taking 40 innings fewer than Sachin Tendulkar.