Virat Kohli hits 35th ton, “the greatest ever ODI player”
D N Verma
The sixth and final ODI between India and South Africa was already a foregone conclusion because of the Indian’s capability to beat the hosts. The one that India lost (4th) was just because of the rains and the logic by Duckworth-Lewis method that required South Africa to score nearly a hundred less than what India had scored (289 to 202) Of course the number of overs was also reduced to 28 but the belief is if it was a full 50 over game the hosts could not do it – reach India’s total of 289 runs.
In any case, India has now already clinched the series, 5-1, the first by a touring Indian team in South Africa.
No wonder Captain Virat Kohli is already being regarded as the greatest ever ODI player, though he has to travel a longer journey to reach what Sachin Tendulkar has recorded.
The sixth and the last ODI game has added another feather to the Kohli cap. The India Captain did not let his fans down. He scored yet another century – his 35th in ODIs and is fast galloping to the milestone that the great Sachin Tendulkar has set. And come to think of it, Virat Kohli is about half-way in his career, and barring any unforeseen circumstance, he has plenty of years and matches to set his own record that would be hard to beat.
Last week, there was the special day when Captain Kohli led India to an impressive 8-wicket win in the sixth and final ODI. It was Kohli's 200th ODI innings and his 35th century. It was his third of the series.
Kohli has hit 13th century as Captain and it was his 19th in successful chases. Kohli has totaled 558 runs in six innings and has an incredible average of 186. He is the first batsman to score 500 runs in a bilateral ODI series.
What a performance, indeed!
No wonder the Chief Coach Ravi Shastri has this amazingly appropriate quote: “Get the latest dictionary to praise Kohli.”
Kohli has led India as Captain to win a bilateral ODI series win on South African soil with the 5th ODI win. It was the first series win.
Kohli has deservedly been praised by top cricketers and others from England to Pakistan to India to Australia.
One of the best – and hilarious - comment was from Mohammad Kaif, one time opening bat for India who said in Hindi: 100 to mazaak bana rakha hai bande ne, adbhut. (the guy has made a joke of scoring centuries, incredible!). Kohli is just unbelievable, Century number 35th for probably the greatest ODI batsman.
Among others praising Kohli and his performance were India’s onetime swashbuckling batsman Virender Sehwag, South African born but player for England, Kevin Pietersen, Pakistan’s great Javed Miandad, England’s cricket great Michael Vaughn and others.
India’s great spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who also has been playing under Kohli’s captaincy, said: Kohli day, jolly day, number 35th century look ridiculously easy for him.
Up and coming Afghan cricket team’s leader Rashid Khan said just three sets of words : runs machine+hundreds machine+chasing machine.
India’s own wonder hitter (six sixes in six balls), Yuvraj Singh praised the ‘outstanding effort by the boys’ winning 5 to 1 against South Africa in SA will go down as one of the best series wins away! Congratulations to Virat Kohli on 3 tons - unbelievable batting !
India’s yesteryear’s bowling great Bishan Singh Bedi was all praise for Kohli. He said: “ Ind/Sth Africa ODI’s alls very satisfying~5-1 score is stupendous.. No matter how depleted/hapless hosts were. Kohli’s consistency mind-boggling - Hearty Congrats Fellas!
Kohli, just married to one of the top stars of Indian cinema, Anushka Sharma, has been consistent save a few occasions when it’s rumored that he could not do so because of ‘distraction.’ The latter part of the South African tour he has no distraction and he is playing incredibly well.
However, he has discounted distraction and said that Anushka is my lady luck and good luck charm.
We would wish him all the best.
However, Virat Kohli has to catch up Sachin who has scored 49 ODI centuries. He has already beaten the second highest, Ricky Pointing of Australia (30 centuries) and the next Indian (Saurav Ganguly with 22 tons). Sachin played 463 ODIs and Kohli has only 208 matches. While Sachin Tendulkar has scored a total of 18426 runs in ODI’s, Virat Kohli has only 208 matches and scored 9588 runs – nearly half way from Sachin – not bad.. .
The way Kohli is going – scoring – we think he would catch up with Sachin’s record sooner and not later.