Virat Kohli on 40th ODI hundred: It’s just a number, more proud of our 2nd innings

Brief scores – India (250) beat Australia (242) by 8 runs to take 2-0 lead in 5-match series. Stoinis (52), Handscomb (48), Kuldeep (3/54), Shankar (2/15). Highlights | Match Report

Virat Kohli played down his 40th ODI hundred after India sealed a thrilling win over Australia in the second ODI in Nagpur on Tuesday. Kohli, who was named man-of-the-match for his polished 116 on a tricky pitch, instead focused on the spectacular bowling performances by Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Vijay Shankar, who defended 10 off the final over.

Kohli walked in to bat after Rohit Sharma was dismissed for a duck in the first over of the Indian innings. He also saw Shikhar Dhawan and Ambati Rayudu fall cheaply before Vijay Shankar played a classy knock and helped India consolidate. After Shankar’s exit, India lost Kedar Jadhav and MS Dhoni off successive deliveries.

Virat Kohli was then involved in a useful partnership with Ravindra Jadeja – that stand in fact helped India eventually get to the total of 250. Kohli, typically modest about his own performance, said he had no choice but to put his head down and bat.

“When I walk in to bat, when the situation gets difficult, I have no choice but to put my head down and bat through the innings.. I’m totally exhausted now.. I have been on the field for nearly 100 overs,” Kohli said at the post-match presentation ceremony.

Kohli did not want to discuss his hundred and said: “It’s just a number. I am more proud of our second innings than our first,” he said.

Kohli also had a word of praise for Shankar with whom he helped India stabilise in the middle overs. He ( was batting outstandingly well, but was unfortunately run-out,” Kohli said.

But Vijay Shankar has shown his mettle with the bat. It was his last over heroics with the ball that will be remembered for a long time. Jasprit Bumrah had done what he has been doing for a long time for India now – he picked two wickets in his penultimate over before Shami bowled two economical overs, paving the way for Shankar to bowl the final over.

Kohli said it was a decision taken after consultations with MS Dhoni and vice-captain Rohit Sharma.

“I was thinking about the 46th over. I was talking with both of them (Rohit and Dhoni). If they take wickets, we’d be right on the game. He (Shankar) just put the ball in the right areas. He showed great composure with both bat and the ball. Both are experienced, it’s always nice to speak them. These guys watch the game so keenly. Invariably all of them are in the same page,” he said.

Kohli lauded Bumrah for turning the game around for India with his spectacular spell under pressure.

“He just turned the game around, he’s at the top of the rankings, top of the game. Just to come through in games like these, gives great confidence. There might be low totals in the World Cup as well. We will have to fight till the end, and tonight was such a day,” he said.


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