Mumbai: It took India’s batting order mainstay Virat Kohli 13 innings to score another One-Day International (ODI) century but the Test captain says he was pushing himself to the limit after the ton instead of basking in it’s glory so that India could have 30-40 more runs on the board.
India reached 299 courtesy Kohli’s 138 and then restricted South Africa to 264/9 in the fourth ODI in Chennai on Thursday. “It feels really special to get a big hundred especially when we were 1-2 down in the series. The team winning and you getting a hundred is obviously a very special day. It was something that was needed to be done for the team while batting at No.3 again,” Kohli was quoted as saying by bcci.tv.
“I knew that this pitch was probably a 260-270 pitch but I pushed myself after I got my hundred. I was getting a bit of cramps but I told myself, if I can get 30 or 35 more runs here, the team will probably get to 300. That was the whole point of pushing myself over the limit and it feels absolutely wonderful that we are 2-2 all now. There is everything to play for in Mumbai.” The India vice-captain added that it was a challenging innings for him as the visitors have a strong bowling unit.
“It is one of my more challenging innings in ODI cricket specially because of the bowling attack they have. South Africa have been bowling pretty well in the series in the right areas,” said the Delhi boy. “The pitch wasn’t that quick for us to get boundaries throughout. So I had to run a lot and keep pushing the boundary fielders and keep looking for those gaps so that I could keep running through the innings. Probably, that is why in the end I started cramping because the body took a lot of toll.”
Asked about the century stands with Ajinkya Rahane (104) and Suresh Raina (127), Kohli said: “Ajinkya was very good in terms of getting the boundary at the right time and rotating the strike. Suresh was at his aggressive best. It was good to have that communication out there in the middle with both of them – sort of analysing what needs to be done.” “Thing like, if you got 10 runs in an over just to calm the other guy down and tell him to take a single rather than go for a risky stroke. It was about playing smart cricket, that is exactly what we executed out there in the middle.
“Both those partnerships were really important for the team. We usually target 150-run stand and two 50-run stands. To get two 100-run partnerships on that sort of slow pitch in the afternoon was a commendable effort.”