In the opening ODI against Sri Lanka on Tuesday, Kohli blasted his 45th ODI century in 80 balls. In three different formats, it was also his 73rd international century.
Is there a more breathtaking sight on a cricket pitch than Virat Kohli in full swing? After the former India captain’s most recent feats, the spectators at the Barsapara Cricket Stadium in Guwahati would yell with a booming “Yes.” In the opening ODI against Sri Lanka on Tuesday, Kohli blasted his 45th ODI century in 80 balls. In three different formats, it was also his 73rd international century. He has one T20I tonne and 27 tonnes in Tests. Kohli quickly reached the triple-figure mark in front of the boisterous crowd at the Assam venue after hitting 10 fours and one six. In the 49th over, Kohli was out for 113 runs off 87 balls (12 fours and 1 six). In the end, India scored 373/7 in 50 overs, with Kohli leading the way.
Virat Kohli now has 20 ODI tonnes at home after acquiring the tonne. He now has the same number of hundreds in the format at home as batting superstar Sachin Tendulkar, who also holds the record with 20 centuries. In addition to reaching his 73rd international milestone, Kohli set a record for the quickest 12500 ODI run total in 257 innings. The 49 ODI hundreds held by Sachin are currently four tonnes away from being surpassed by Kohli.
Tendulkar was eclipsed by Kohli for yet another record. With his 45th ODI century, Kohli has now surpassed Sri Lanka nine times. It’s the most tonnes an Indian hitter has ever scored against islanders. Kohli and Tendulkar shared the record prior to the first ODI. Both Tendulkar and Kohli have amassed nine tonnes of points against West Indies and Australia, respectively.
Virat entered the batting order in the 20th over after India’s openers Rohit Sharma (83) and Shubman Gill (70) gave them a strong start. He came down the track with confidence and struck his first boundary in the 22nd over against Sri Lankan captain Dasun Shanaka with some amazing wristwork. Even though Kohli was granted two reprieves, there was no stopping him after that. In the 37th over, against Kasun Rajitha, Kohli was first dropped by wicketkeeper Kusal Mendis after reaching his half-century in 47 balls. The 43rd over saw Rajitha’s bowling again grant him a respite. He was batting on 81 when Shanaka dropped him this time.
The most exquisite aspect of Kohli’s innings was it’s elegance rather than brute force. Despite batting at a strike-rate of over 125, Kohli rarely took the aerial route. He played along the ground and yet kept the scorecard progressing at a rapid rate.