Virat Kohli brought up his 42nd ODI ton in brilliant fashion while guiding India to a win against West Indies and pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar said the Indian skipper was eager to end his 11-innings century drought.
On Sunday, Kohli, who is coming off a relatively quiet World Cup, scored 120 off 125 balls to help India to 279 for 7 before Bhuvneshwar starred with the ball to hand the visitors a 59-win in the rain curtailed match.
Kohli’s last hundred had come against Australia in March. Since then the Indian skipper has been among the runs, scoring five half centuries, but has failed to reach a ton.
After scoring the century, Kohli celebrated in a characteristically passionate manner.
“From Virat’s expression you could see that he badly wanted to score a hundred not because he was out form but because he was getting out in the 70’s and 80’s and he’s always known for scoring big runs,” Bhuvneshwar said at the post match conference.
“The wicket wasn’t easy, when Virat came back to the dressing room he said after the ball gets old it’s not easy to score runs,” he added.
Like Kohli, Bhuvneshwar also played a decisive role in India’s victory. The 29-year-old snared four wickets for 31 runs.
“When I came to bowl I was just thinking I have to bowl economically, get more dot balls. I feel getting wickets is a byproduct of bowling tightly. I wasn’t thinking much about the result because we knew if we get one or two wickets we will be back in the game.”
West Indies lost wickets at regular intervals but looked well within sight of the target with Nicholas Pooran (42) and Rostan Chase (18) in the middle. However, Bhuvneshwar changed the complexion of the game in a matter of an over.
In the 35th over he first dismissed Pooran and then leapt to pull off a stunning catch to see the back of Chase.
“I just caught it. I wasn’t expecting it. Pooran’s wicket was the main wicket for us because we all know how he plays and he can change the game. So his wicket was the key for us. Roston Chase also the moment he came he started taking singles. So those two wickets were crucial for us.”
Now the Indian pace spearhead has set his sight on a precious away series win. India lead the three-match ODI series 1-0.
“We are up in the series we want to win the series. whenever you are playing away from home you just want to win the series,” Bhuvneshwar said.