Chasing a target in ODIs seems to be like having a breakfast for the Indian skipper Virat Kohli. He further solidified that perception by scoring a 20th ODI century when chasing out of which 18 times Indian team had won the match.
It was also his 33rd century of his ODI career as he took the men in blue to a six-wicket win over South Africa in the first ODI in Durban. With the win, India took a 1-0 lead in the six-match series. Chasing 270 runs, Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane built a 189-run partnership for the third wicket to steal the victory away from South Africa’s hands. Rahane has had a time to forget in Tests but he showed no signs of lacking in confidence in the first ODI.
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Talking about the win, Virat 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.”
During the post-match presentation, the Indian skipper said, “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.”
While fielding first, Kohli jarred his knee but revealed during the presentation that he was okay to go on. He said, “It was my knee but my groin took the impact. The outfield for me was quite dangerous. I am okay now.”
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The Indian skipper further praised the effort of the Indian bowling attack for restricting South Africa to 269/8. The wrist-spin duo of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav picked up five wickets between them by conceding just 79 runs. The fact that they were bowling in tandem outside of the sub-continent for the first time further added to their credit.
Kohli didn’t shy away from crediting the youngsters, as he said, “And then the two wristpsinners – 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, its outstanding when you have two guys who know what they want to do.”