At the Eden Gardens on Sunday, Kohli equalled Tendulkar’s record of 49 ODI centuries with a brilliant 101 not out against South Africa on his 35th birthday, as India posted an above-par 326/5.
The bowlers’, led by Ravindra Jadeja’s 5-33, bowled out South Africa for just 83 to keep India’s winning run going. Kohli now has a total of 543 runs at this edition of the Men’s ODI World Cup at a gigantic average of 108.60.
“Virat Kohli played in a very composed manner because there was a time when the Indian team looked to be in a slight spot of bother. The ball was not coming on the way they would have liked to and no one was being able to score comfortably off Keshav Maharaj. That’s when Shreyas Iyer and Kohli managed to put on a partnership.”
“There was no ego in Kohli’s batting. He allowed Shreyas to take over the role of the senior partner although he’s the more experienced batsman. Then, Suryakumar Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja came along and hit at will. Kohli was content taking singles.”
“He had reached 75 at the end of the 40th over and ended up scoring a run-a-ball 26 by the end of the innings. There’s been some discussion around it, whether it was the right or the wrong approach. But then Kohli himself said that the message from the dressing room was that he bat till the end. So, if that was the role assigned to him, he played it to perfection,” said Chopra in the latest episode of JioCinema’s daily sports show ‘#AAKASHVANI.’
Apart from taking 5-33, Jadeja also slammed a 15-ball 29, including a six and two fours off Marco Jansen in the last over. He also became the second Indian spinner after Yuvraj Singh to take a five-wicket-haul in the Men’s ODI World Cup and also the fifth bowler to take a five-fer in the ongoing tournament.
Chopra further spoke of the impact Jadeja had on the game. “Ravindra Jadeja was all over South Africa. In my opinion, he should have been the player of the match. That’s because it’s simply very difficult to take five wickets in an innings.”
“How difficult? I’ll give you an example. He became only the second Indian spinner to take a five-wicket haul at an ODI World Cup. More so, he got rid of the top-order batsmen and not the tail. He also scored crucial runs.”
Now at the top of the points table with 16 points and semi-final place already sealed, India’s final league match of 2023 Men’s ODI World Cup will be against the Netherlands at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium on November 12.