India’s run machine Virat Kohli has been playing international cricket for India for close to 14 years now. He played his first ODI against Sri Lanka at Dambulla in 2008. Since then, Kohli has made a lot of records, be it as a batter or as a skipper. On Tuesday, he smashed his 20th ODI century on home soil and equalized Sachin Tendulkar’s record.
His brilliant 113 off 87 balls against Sri Lanka in Guwahati powered India to 373/7 in 50 overs. India ended up winning the match by 67 runs.
“I don’t think there was anything different. My preparation and intent always remain the same. I thought I was hitting the ball nicely. It was close to the template I play with, I understood we needed an extra 25-30 runs. I tried to understand the conditions in the second half,” Virat Kohli said at the post-match ceremony.
“Tried to get a comfortable total for us on the board. The one thing I learnt was desperation doesn’t get you anywhere. You do not need to complicate things. You go out there and play without any fear, I can’t hold on to things. You have to play for the right reasons and almost play every game like it’s your last and just be happy about it. The game is going to move on. I am not going to play forever, I am in a happy space and enjoying my time playing.”
Earlier, invited to bat first by the Lankan Lions, India put a 374-run target for the visitors. Rohit Sharma’s men had made it a one-sided affair by putting up a mammoth total in the first innings, but Sri Lanka made it easier for the Indian bowlers by losing early wickets and starting off slowly.
For Sri Lanka, the only batter who rose to the occasion was Dasun Shanaka (88-ball 108). The Sri Lankan skipper played a superb knock, and scored a hard-fought ton but came out to bat a little too late. His remarkable hundred went in vain and only reduced the margin of defeat.
India’s ODI squad: Rohit Sharma (C), Hardik Pandya (VC), Virat Kohli, Shubman Gill, Suryakumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul (WK), Ishan Kishan (WK), Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel, Mohammed Shami , Mohammed Siraj, Umran Malik, Arshdeep Singh, Jasprit Bumrah.
Sri Lanka’s ODI squad: Pathum Nissanka, Avishka Fernando, Ashen Bandara, Nuwanidu Fernando, Dasun Shanaka (c), Charith Asalanka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Chamika Karunaratne, Wanindu Hasaranga, Kusal Mendis (wk), Sadeera Samarawickrama, Maheesh Theekshana, Kasun Rajitha, Dilshan Madushanka, Dunith Wellalage, Lahiru Kumara, Jeffrey Vandersay, Pramod Madushan.