Without him, his 558 runs, his intensity, his confidence in attacking with his spinners and his desire to win that stemmed from the hurt suffered during the Test series, this series might have yielded zilch for India.
After an impressive bowling display, Indian skipper Virat Kohli led from the front with the bat to help India beat South Africa by eight wickets in the sixth one-day global at the SuperSport Park in Centurion on Friday.
With an emphatic 5-1 victory of South Africa in South Africa, Team India has aptly shut down the critics who raised question over their dominance only on the home soil.
“Yes‚ I would say he is the best batsman in the world right now”.
With a Test series against Australia starting on March 1, South Africa have rested all their likely Test players with the exception of AB de Villiers.
Among active cricketers, Kohli is the second highest ODI-run scorer only behind Mahendra Singh Dhoni. I really work hard for it.
Another straight drive, this time off Tahir, took Kohli to his 35th ODI hundred and the captain thumped his chest as the Centurion crowd stood to applaud another champion performance. “It’s with us and we have to make the most of it, even until the last day of the tour”. The Indian Captain Kohli, however, was in no mood to get into the debate about whether he is the world’s best batsman. Incidentally, that game too was in Johannesburg, and South Africa would aim for the same in T20Is. With the top two pace bowling slots going into the 2019 World Cup already grabbed by Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah, Mumbai’s Shardul Thakur made a case for himself as the third block in the jigsaw puzzle with an impressive 4 for 52 during the South African innings. As for the T20 Internationals, Virat Kohli has 1956 runs from 55 matches. “We want to win 5-1, for sure, but there might be a scenario for a few more guys to get a chance in the next match”, he said. And to then take that momentum into the one-day series and show the consistency they have shown over the last two weeks is fabulous. If anything‚ I always look to help my team in any way that I can. “So, there are factors we’re looking at”, Shastri said in the pre-match press interaction. “When things are hostile and when thing are not going your way, you want to go out there in the middle rather than getting extra sleep in the room”. They will have a very short turnaround time to get ready for the new format, given the ODI series finished only on Friday in Centurion.