An authoritative Virat Kohli headlined India’s utterly dominant performance with his 45th ODI hundred as the hosts pummelled Sri Lanka by 67 runs in the first of the three-match series in Guwahati on Tuesday. Asked to bat first, India rode former skipper Kohli’s 87-ball 113 and fluent half-centuries from his successor Rohit Sharma (83) and Shubman Gill (70) to rake up an imposing 373 for seven in their allotted quota of overs on a batting-friendly strip.
In reply, the Sri Lankans were never in the hunt and ended at 306 for eight in 50 overs to hand the hosts a 1-0 lead in the rubber. After opener Pathum Nissanka fell for 72, visiting captain Dasun Shanaka waged a lone battle and produced a counterattacking century, even as the others failed to put up any resistance. In the end, Shanaka remained not out on 108 off 88 balls.
However, during the 43rd over of the India innings, Kohli wanted to convert a single into a double and pushed Hardik Pandya to go for another run. But the vice-captain said no to the second run. Kohli was clearly unimpressed by Pandya’s decision deny the run and stared him for a while. The video of the incident went viral on social media.
— Guess Karo (@KuchNahiUkhada) January 10, 2023
Meanwhile, Kohli, who scored 113 against Bangladesh in Chattogram in India’s last ODI, continued from where he left. The class of Kohli was on full display as he smashed 12 fours and one six and held on to one end while wickets fell at regular intervals in the middle overs. This was Kohli’s third hundred from three ODIs at Guwahati — two here at the Barsapara and one at the Nehru Stadium. He was dropped twice — on 52 and 81 — on his way to his 45th ODI century, four shy of maestro Sachin Tendulkar’s all-time record of 49 hundreds in the 50-over format.
Rohit responded to the criticism of benching the in-form duo of Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav by giving India a solid start in the company of Gill. The Indian skipper had preferred Gill over Ishan who had to sit out despite a record-breaking 210 in the last one-dayer. Rohit slammed a 67-ball 83 (9×4, 3×6) in a knock of sheer domination.