The Men in Blue have bounced back strongly in the One Day International series after their heavy loss of Freedom Series last week, as India won the first ODI by six wickets and took a 1-0 lead in the 6-match series in Durban on Thursday.
Captain Virat Kohli, who cracked his 20th ODI ton while chasing and 33rd overall, leading the team from the front by fashioning a 189-run stand for the third wicket with Ajinkya Rahane and paved the way for his team to the victory against South Africa.
When it comes to One Day cricket, the dashing right-hander is the best chaser of the modern era, as the target of 270 is the second highest target successfully chased down by India in South Africa, the first was 274 against Pakistan in Centurion in a World Cup encounter in 2003.
It was Kohli’s 11 ton in 41 innings as India's skipper, equaling the record set by Sourav Ganguly in 142 innings. Besides Kohli, among ODI captains, only Ricky Ponting (22) and AB de Villiers (13) are among ODI captains who have reached the three figures more number of times than King Kohli.
It was 29-year-old Kohli’s first One Day ton in 12 ODIs in South Africa, scoring 112 off 119, as the Delhi lad said ‘it is easier to break down the total when you have a number on the board’.
Speaking at the post-match press conference, Virat Kohli Reporters, “It is easier to break down the total when you have a number on the board. I like to understand the game. I had never scored an ODI hundred in South Africa. Thus, the celebration.”
Kohli gave a scare when he jarred his knee while fielding but revealed, “It was my knee but my groin took the impact. The outfield for me was quite dangerous. I am okay now.”
While praising Rahane, who showed a lot of confidence while his knock of 79 in Durban, Captain said, “Yeah it was quite special (the win). We wanted to take the confidence from Johannesburg to here. We wanted one good partnership. Very very happy for Jinks (Ajinkya Rahane) as well. Jinks has a good technique and he took the confidence from the last game and never had doubts in his mind. He batted positively and I could solidify the situation from the other end. Hats off to him, he was outstanding.”
He also lauded his bowlers, signed off by saying, “Bhuvi and Bumrah, we bank on them. Picking up one or two wickets in the top ten is what we wanted to do. And then the two wrist spinners – outstanding bowling by both of them. They are working wonderfully for the team. They’re playing in South Africa for the first time. They were very brave, they were throwing it up and that’s why they got wickets. As a captain, it is outstanding when you have two guys who know what they want to do.”