Virat Kohli, the renowned chase-master, delivered an exceptional performance in the ICC Cricket World Cup, scoring his third century in the tournament and the 48th of his ODI career. Despite the looming possibility of falling short of the triple-figure mark with India needing 19 runs to win and Kohli himself 19 runs short, he managed to reach the milestone with a maximum, securing victory for his team.
Collaborative Effort Pays Off
With KL Rahul as his partner, Kohli managed to keep the strike till the end of the innings. The duo demonstrated excellent teamwork, turning down easy singles and converting singles into quick twos on several occasions. This collaborative effort paid off handsomely, with Kohli’s century earning him the Player of the Match title, surpassing Ravindra Jadeja’s impressive bowling performance in the first innings.
Kohli’s Aspiration for a Significant Contribution
During the post-match presentation, Kohli expressed his desire to make a significant contribution to the team’s success. Having scored fifties in previous World Cups, he was determined to take it a notch higher this time. His successful century chase, with 51 balls to spare, reaffirmed his status as the master of run chases and an ideal No.3 batsman.
India’s Dominant Top Five
India’s top five have been so dominant in this tournament that Hardik Pandya’s eight-ball 11* is the only contribution from a player outside the top five in their first four games. Rahul’s selfless act of helping Kohli reach his century was particularly noteworthy, especially since he fell short of his own century in the opening match against Australia.
Kohli’s Remarkable Start
Kohli’s innings started off in an extraordinary fashion, as he capitalized on Hasan Mahmud’s no-balls, relieving any pressure on the scoring rate. He mentioned in a post-match interview that the pitch was favorable, allowing him to play his game and find the boundaries whenever possible.
Kohli’s Role Beyond Batting
Not only with the bat, but Kohli also played a crucial role with the ball. The crowd in Pune erupted in excitement when Kohli started warming up to replace the injured Pandya halfway through an over in the first innings. This marked his first bowling attempt in an ODI since 2017.
Kohli’s Unbeaten Century
Kohli’s unbeaten 103* puts him second only to his captain in the Most Runs table at the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023, demonstrating his invaluable contribution to the team’s success.