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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Virat Kohli’s ‘special feeling’ over 48th ODI century at Cup

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Virat Kohli said he was enjoying the “special feeling” of playing in a Cricket Cup on home soil after his unbeaten century guided India to a dominant seven-wicket win over Bangladesh and left him in sight of Sachin Tendulkar’s record for ODI hundreds.

Kohli made 103 not out with a six against spinner Nasum Ahmed, the shot also ending the match in a finish worthy of a Bollywood movie as India reached a target of 257 with more than eight overs to spare.

Kohli’s 48th one-day international century left him just one shy of equalling India great Tendulkar’s all-time record of 49 hundreds at this level.

He faced 97 balls, including six fours and four sixes, with this century his third score in excess of fifty in four innings following contributions of 85 and 55 not out over Australia and Afghanistan.

“I’ve had a few fifties in Cups and haven’t converted them so I just wanted to finish the game off this time around,” Kohli said afterwards.

“The pitch was pretty good, it allowed me to play my game and just hit the gaps.”

India have now won all four of their matches in the tournament to date.

“There is a great atmosphere in the changing room, we’re loving each other’s company, the spirit is there for everyone to see on the field,” said Kohli, who played alongside Tendulkar in the India team that defeated Sri Lanka in the 2011 Cup final in Mumbai.

“We understand it’s a long tournament and you need to create some momentum for the guys to come out and play like this.

“It’s a special feeling playing at home in front of all these people and we just want to make the most of it.”

Meanwhile, opener Shubman Gill, who made 53, said batting alongside India captain Rohit Sharma, who launched the chase on Thursday with a brisk 48, and Kohli was an education.

“To see how they go about their business in a Cup and in big games is what I always try to learn from them,” he said.

Gill, who put on 88 for the first wicket with Rohit and then shared a stand of 44 with Kohli, added: “I think there’s a fine line between sometimes being too aggressive or going in the shell, especially playing big games.

“But I think the way they play, the way their mindset is playing those big games in the Cup is what I try to learn.”

AFP

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