India vs Sri Lanka: Virat Kohli starts the new year with 45th ODI hundred | Cricket News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: Batting maestro Virat Kohli continued his good run with the bat and started the new year with a sensational hundred against Sri Lanka in the first one-day international of the three-match series in Guwahati on Tuesday. Kohli raced to his 45th ODI hundred in just 80 balls with the help of a six and 10 fours.
It was the second successive ODI hundred for Kohli after ending the year 2022 with a superb 113 off 91 balls against Bangladesh at Chattogram on December 10. And Tuesday’s hundred took his combined international tally to 73.
“I have had a bit of a break, and a couple of practice sessions coming into this game, so I was fresh after that Bangladesh tour. I was excited for the home season to start,” Kohli said during the innings break.

The former captain’s 113, off 87 balls, powered India to a massive 373/7 against the visitors. Rohit Sharma (83 off 67) and Shubman Gill (70 off 60) also contributed handsomely for the hosts as the duo put on 143 runs for the opening wicket in just 19.4 overs. India went on to win the match by 67 runs to take a 1-0 lead in the series, after Sri Lanka only managed to score 306/8 in 50 overs.

Kohli acknowledged the contribution from the openers, and said: “The openers allowed me to get into the game and I tried to keep my strike rate in check. I was happy I was able to maintain the tempo and we finished with 370.”
Kohli’s swashbuckling knock ended in the 49th over of the India innings, when wicket-keeper Kusal Mendis ran across towards square leg to hold on the catch. Kohli went for a slog-sweep off Kasun Ranjitha but only managed to get a top-edge.

Kohli also survived a couple of drop catches during the innings, and the run machine said that luck does play its part in such knocks.
“I would take those (dropped chances) any day. Luck plays a big part, you need to thank god on such evenings. These evenings are important, pretty aware of that. Thankful that I made the most of that luck presented to me. I helped the team get 20 runs extra, rather than 350.

“It’s going to be the same thing. Someone will have to score a 150, or 140 to chase this down. But it also gives our bowlers a chance to bowl with dew coming into play. I am quite aware of what I eat, diet is the most important thing at this age. That keeps me in prime shape. That helps me give my 100 percent for the team,” Kohli added.
It was Kohli’s ninth century against the Lankans, making him the batter with most centuries against them in the ODIs. One more than the batting great Sachin Tendulkar against the Islanders.

Kohli also equalled Tendulkar’s record of most ODI hundreds in a country as the knock was his 20th century in India. Kohli achieved the recond in 99 home innings, while the ‘Master Blaster’ played 160 innings in India.

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