Virat Kohli again batted at no. 4 versus the Sri Lankan team in Ahmadabad. He had done the same in Cuttack where the opening match of the 5-match ODI series was played. However, his decision to demote himself there was understandable as the first wicket had fallen quite late and the team needed some quick runs at that point of time. So, to accelerate straightaway, he sent Suresh Raina in ahead of him.
But, in Ahmadabad, the scenario was different. India had lost Ajinkya Rahane inside the first 10 overs and the stability was needed. So, everybody thought Kohli would come at his usual position and control the game, but, that wasn’t the case to be. It’s Rayudu who walked in and ended up scoring a century.
As far as Kohli’s form is concerned, it’s alright now. He got a half century and then, a century against West Indies and his feet seem to be moving nicely on these Indian pitches. Then, why is he batting at 4? Is this the way the Indian team management wants the batting line up to be leading into the World Cup? Do they think that Kohli is better off batting at 4 in the Australian conditions?
On the last tour of Australia in 2012, Kohli had batted 3 in most of the One- dayers and had played some breathtaking innings. He had faced the new ball many a time during that series and there were no signs that he was impotent against new ball. Suddenly, by pushing him down the order just to protect him from the new ball, is the team management doing any good to his confidence? Remember, we are talking about a man who has 26 international hundreds under his belt.
The stand-in captain of the Indian cricket team, Virat Kohli, scored yet another century in the first ODI match against Zimbabwe and guided India to a comfortable 6-wicket victory.
It was Kohli’s 15th ODI ton. He is the quickest in the world to reach that milestone. He has done that in just 108 games.
It was a seaming pitch at Harare and batting was not that easy. India had to hunt down a target of 229 runs and they lost both their openers cheaply.
But, Kohli as usual showed fantastic composure and put up a partnership of 159 runs with the debutant Ambati Rayudu for the 3rd wicket to take India close to the target.
Although, Kohli got dismissed after completing his century but, before that, he had put the match beyond Zimbabwe’s reach.
Rayudu and Dinesh Karthik saw India home quite comfortably after that.
Talking to the reporters in the post match press conference, Kohli said, “It’s fantastic to start the tour on a winning note. It was not easy at the start as the ball was moving around. It was important to survive that tough period and we managed to do that.”
“I would like to congratulate Ambati Rayudu for having a great debut match. He waited for quite a few years to make it to the Indian team and when he got his chance today, he grabbed it with both hands.”
Rayudu scored a half century and ended up being not out on 63 runs. He faced 84 deliveries and hit 4 fours.
When asked about the performance of the bowlers, Kohli said, “I think they did a fine job. They hit great areas and didn’t let the Zimbabwe openers get off to a quick start.”
India had gone into his match with a young bowling attack as the frontline bowlers have been rested for this series.