Advertisement

WI v IND, 5th ODI Review: Virat Kohli slams 28th ODI ton to guide India to a series victory

A target of 206 was never going to trouble the Indian batsmen. The conditions assisted them as well, as it wasn’t a low and slow track on which they batted in Antigua.

Virat Kohli
India’s Captain Virat Kohli celebrates their victory with teammate Dinesh Karthik. (Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

Having finally found his groove at Sabina Park, Virat Kohli took matters into his own hands in the fifth and final ODI against the Windies to seal the series 3-1. His near run-a-ball 111 ensured India did not falter in what was as good as a decider. For the Windies, a win in Kingston would have been equivalent to a series win, considering the sorry state of their cricketing standards of late. The Master of Chases though was in no mood to give the hosts even a sniff of victory.

Across the Atlantic Ocean, Joe Root, captaining England’s Test side for the first time, joined a list of elite skippers to score a century on captaincy debut. India’s man at the helm Virat Kohli thought it only fair to notch up a record of his own. He scored his 18th ODI hundred in run chases, surpassing the great Sachin Tendulkar who had 17 tons in 232 innings while batting second. Two of the fab four were doing what they did best in two different spots on the globe.

Advertisement

The Windies, however, were far from fabulous. Following Kyle Hope’s dismissal at 76/2, the typical lack of intent set in during the first innings. To make matters worse, the man who thrives in testing times of this sort Roston Chase registered a golden duck.

India’s spinners tighten the noose

Seeing that the runs had dried up considerably, Kohli introduced spin. The Windies found it even harder to score off Ravindra Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav. Despite going wicketless, the two left-armers gave away a mere 63 runs in their 20 overs combined. After a sluggish start, Jason Mohammed hit one straight back to Kedar Jadhav. With the fourth batsman back in the dugout, the Windies’ run rate had plunged below 4 as well.

The captain Jason Holder took initiative once he walked out to the crease. He nudged the ball around, and wasn’t afraid to play a few big shots as well. His 34-ball stay yielded 36 runs, but he fell prey to a short off-cutter by Mohammed Shami. A running Shikhar Dhawan completed the catch at long on, only to follow it up with a slap on the thigh – the wrestler’s celebration.

Shai was the Windies’ only Hope left at the crease, literally, but he perished soon after he brought up his fifty. The end-innings woes continued for the home team as they managed to squeeze just over 40 runs off the last 10. A useful 31 from all-rounder Rovman Powell meant the Windies would have to be content with 205 on the board.

There are fewer pleasant sights than to see one of India’s top pacers run in, hit the deck, and get the wickets for his captain. Mohammed Shami led the pack of fast bowlers with 4 scalps, while Umesh Yadav got 3 himself. Hardik Pandya and Kedar Jadhav bagged one apiece.

Virat Kohli asserts his dominance

The chase was relatively straightforward for India. Despite losing Shikhar Dhawan in the first over, Ajinkya Rahane held on to his ground and played a brisk inning, before handing the reins to his skipper Virat Kohli. Rahane though played all around a straight delivery from leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo. Kohli at the non-striker’s end thought against opting for a review, and with good reason. The ball was going nowhere other than the stumps.

Ajinkya Rahane’s was, however, the last dismissal for India. Dinesh Karthik, who was given another chance despite his poor show in the previous game, made amends with a fine half century. Virat Kohli, on the other hand, brought up his century with a flick through the mid-wicket region. The fist-pumps and the glares towards the dressing room showed how much this knock meant to him. Just as critics thought they had enough reason to pounce on Kohli after two failures, the King answered back in style.

Virat Kohli chose to use the flick one last time in the ODI series as he sealed the deal with a maximum over long-on. A target of 206 was never going to trouble the Indian batsmen. The conditions assisted them as well, as it wasn’t a low and slow track on which they batted in Antigua. Kohli’s century was a fitting end to the series – the chase-master was finally back to his old run-hungry self.

Brief scores

Windies – 205/9 (Shai Hope 51, Kyle Hope 46; Mohammed Shami 4/48)

India – 206/2 (Virat Kohli 111*, Dinesh Karthik 50*)

Advertisement