Kohli hits classy ton as India post 330/6
Dharamsala: Notching up a sublime century, Virat Kohli today reassured that he is back in form to help India post 330 for six against the West Indies in the fourth and final One-day International, here.
Kohli (127) along with Suresh Raina (71) and opener Ajinkya Rahane (68) made batting look easy on a pitch that was expected to favour fast bowlers. It was Kohli’s first hundred across formats since February, following which he experienced the first lean patch of his career.
The West Indies pace attack was decent but overall the unit put up a lacklustre effort on the field after captain Dwayne Bravo decided to field.
It would anyway have been too much to expect from the team, which knew before the match that it won’t be playing the remainder of the series including the next ODI in Kolkata, a T20 International and three Test matches.
The unwanted news of a pullout however had not reached the crowd, who cheered vociferously for every run scored by the Indians.
Openers Shikhar Dhawan (38) and Rahane laid the foundation for a big score with a 70-run stand. The West Indies players expectedly found it tough to give their 100 percent to the game and the hosts took full advantage of that.
Kohli and Rahane got together after Dhawan got caught in the deep while attempting a pull shot one time too many. The stylish duo added 72 runs to the score before Rahane was adjudged lbw on a missed sweep shot off left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn (1-30).
Kohli, who showed a glimpse of his brilliance during his fighting 62 in the last match in Delhi, batted much more fluently today. He treated the fans to his trademark shots, from blazing square cuts, wristy flicks to smashing pacers for sixes on front foot.
He took a particular liking to speedster Jerome Taylor, spanking him for two maximums on either side of the sidescreen. Overall, Kohli hammered 13 fours to go with his three sixes off Taylor, the last one sending the ball out of the park. In an anti-climax, he reached his hundred with an overthrow and was run out off the last ball of the innings.
Kohli’s 138-run partnership with Raina was instrumental in India making a huge score. Needless to say, the negative body language of the West Indies’ players made their task easier.
The fielding team dropped catches with regularity, giving a life each to Kohli, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (6) and Ravindra Jadeja (2). Tayor proved to be their most expensive bowler, leaking 77 runs in nine overs.
India: 330 for six in 50 overs (Virat Kohli 127, Suresh Raina 71; Ajinkya Rahane 68, Jason Holder 1/52)