Virat Kohli has taken his batting feats to a different level altogether in the ongoing ODI series between India and West Indies at home. While Kohli became the first Indian batsman to hit three consecutive ODI hundreds in this series, he also became the fastest batsman to reach the landmark of 10,000 runs in the 50-over format.
Seeing his batting prowess in recent times, India opener Shikhar Dhawan, in an exclusive chat with India TV, said that Virat’s determination and willpower is unbelievable.
"Hats off to Virat, the kind of focus, determination and willpower he has is unbelievable. I pray to God that he reaches more heights in his career," Dhawan quoted.
Apart from Kohli, Dhawan’s opening partner Rohit Sharma has proved to be a thorn for Windies bowlers in the ongoing ODI series. While Rohit has scored 152* in India’s 8-wicket victory in the first ODI in Guwahati, he hit a glorious 162 in the fourth match at CCI, Mumbai.
"We have been opening innings since the last five years. Rohit has scored some outstanding centuries. It's a good thing for the team that we do good at the top to provide a base for the team which helps the team a lot," Dhawan asserted.
The trio of Rohit, Dhawan and Kohli have scripted most of the success stories of Team India in limited-overs cricket lately.
When asked about the secret of their success, Dhawan said: "We three are very experienced players doing well and even rest of our players are doing well. So, it is good that we take it from here. We will have ODI series in Australia then the T20s, so it will be good for all the players to play and the more they play it will be helpful for the team."
Even though Team India are doing wonders in ODI cricket lately, the hunt for a reliable No. 4 batsman still continues. Since the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy, the team management has tried out as many as six batsmen in the vital batting position.
The likes of Yuvraj Singh, KL Rahul, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav and Hardik Pandya have been given opportunities to seal the key batting slot. Most of them have had their fair share of good moments at No. 4, but none of them really managed to make the crucial batting position his own.
In the ongoing ODI series against the West Indies, Ambati Rayudu has been given the chance to bat at No. 4 and the right-hander lived up to the expectations of team management thus far, amassing the scores of 22*, 73, 22 and 100 in four innings. However, it will be interesting to see how Rayudu adjusts his game in the forthcoming away series against Australia and New Zealand.
"Recently, Rayudu has come into the team and he is doing well, so our batting strength is increasing every day and in the lower order will perform as we play more. Rishabh is a young player, so he will learn things with time and then we have Dhoni Bhai who has a lot of experience, so it will not be a problem," Dhawan stated.
Speaking about the much awaited ODI World Cup, scheduled to be held in England next year, Dhawan said his ambition is to feature in it and win it for the country.
"The World Cup is not far away, and the West Indies series is going on, everything is going fine. I will work hard on my skills and fitness. We keep learning whether the going is tough or not. We analyse what can we do better the next time and fit them into our game. And World Cup is my aim. To play in it and win it for the country would be amazing," Dhawan concluded.