Virat Kohli was in full flow against Sri Lanka on Tuesday.© AFP
Is there any better sight on the cricket field than watching Virat Kohli on full flow? The fans present at the Barsapara Cricket Stadium in Guwahati would shout a resounding ‘Yes’ after the former India captain’s latest heroics. Facing Sri Lanka in the first ODI on Tuesday, Kohli slammed his 45th ODI ton in 80 balls. It was also his 73rd international century across three formats. He has 27 tons in Tests and one in T20Is. In front of the jam-packed crowd at the Assam venue, Kohli raced to the triple-figure mark after hitting 10 fours and one sixes. Kohli ultimately departed on 113 off 87 balls (12x4s, 1x6s) in the 49th over. India ultimately reached 373/7 in 50 overs with Kohli top-scoring.
With the ton, Virat Kohli now has 20 ODI tons at home. He has equalled the record of batting legend Sachin Tendulkar, who too has 20 centuries in the format at home – most by any batter. On way to his 73rd international tom, Kohli also became the fastest to score 12500 ODI runs in 257 innings.
Kohli surpassed Tendulkar for another record. With his 45th ODI ton, Kohli now has nine centuries against Sri Lanka. It’s the most number of tons scored by an Indian batter against the islanders. Before the first ODI, Kohli and Tendulkar held the record jointly. Tendulkar and Kohli also have scored nine tons against Australia and West Indies respectively.
After openers Rohit Sharma (83) and Shubman Gill (70) gave India a great start, Virat came to bat in the 20th over. He hit his first boundary in the 22nd over against Sri Lanka skipper Dasun Shanaka with brilliant wristwork after coming down the track with confidence. From thereon, there was no stopping Kohli, though he got two reprieves. After Kohli his half-century in 47 balls, he was first dropped in the 37th over by wicketkeeper Kusal Mendis off Kasun Rajitha. He again got a reprieve in the 43rd over, again of Rajitha’s bowling. This time Shanaka dropped him while he was batting on 81.
The most exquisite aspect of Kohli’s innings was it’s elegance rather than brute force. Despite batting at a strike-rate of over 131, Kohli rarely took the aerial route. He played along the ground and yet kept the scorecard progressing at a rapid rate.
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