Virat Kohli's 157* powers India to 321/6 against WIndies

                                                                                         (Photo Courtesy: Twitter)  

New Delhi, Oct 24: India rode on skipper Virat Kohli's second successive century and a brilliant half century from new No.4 Ambati Rayudu to post a staggering 321/6 against the West Indies in the second One-day International at the Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium here on Wednesday.Opting to bat on a placid track, Kohli came up with yet another authoritative century, his 37th in ODIs, to anchor the hosts to a comfortable position after the early dismissal of the openers. In the process, the 29-year-old skipper also reached a personal milestone of becoming the fastest batsman to reach 10,000 ODI runs.Coming into the match, 81 runs shy of the 10,000-run mark, Kohli got to the landmark in style, before racing to his sixth century of 2018 in a mere 106 balls. With the knock, Kohli also completed 1000 ODI runs in the calendar year.Immediately after smashing the century, the Delhi batsman changed gears by depositing debutant Obed McCoy for two massive sixes before dispatching Kemar Roach for a six and two boundaries, to single-handedly take India past the 300-run mark. Kohli, eventually ended on an unbeaten 157 off 129 deliveries, laced with 13 fours and four sixes.Earlier, after the early departure of openers Rohit Sharma (4) and Shikhar Dhawan (29), Kohli and Rayudu (73 off 80 balls; 4X8) dug the hosts out of trouble with a 139-run fourth wicket stand.The 33-year-old Rayudu, who was recently anointed India's No.4, grabbed the opportunity with both hands, matching his skipper shot for shot before reaching his ninth ODI fifty with a boundary off McCoy.With the hosts going great guns at 179/1, off-spinner Ashley Nurse managed to break the partnership with the wicket of Rayudu before former skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (20 off 25; 6X1) joined Kohli for a brief 43-run fifth wicket stand.Promoted up the order, Dhoni managed to show glimpses of his vintage self before being castled by McCoy. Thereafter, Rishabh Pant (17 off 13; 4X2) and Ravindra Jadeja (13 off 14) gave company to a rampaging Kohli, who blew away the West Indian attack from one end to help India to the massive score.

Virat Kohli became the fastest to score 10,000 runs in One-day Internationals, rewriting, fittingly enough, the iconic Sachin Tendulkar's record and compounding the cricket community's conundrum to find the right superlatives for his phenomenal batting.

'King' Kohli comfortably bettered the record set by the man who was to Indian cricket for over two decades what the 29-year-old has been for the past few years.

Tendulkar took 259 innings to get there, while Kohli has so far batted in 205 innings. Fortune, too, was on Kohli's side as West Indies skipper Jason Holder dropped his Indian counterpart on 44.

Seventeen summers ago, Tendulkar had ventured into what was then an unchartered territory, during a match against Australia. On Wednesday, Kohli became the 13th batsman to reach the milestone.

Not long ago, while the cricket world struggled to look for words to aptly describe Kohli's phenomenal batting, his coach Ravi Shastri thought it would be wise to visit the bookstore, buy the latest edition of the Oxford dictionary and look for the adjectives that befit the captain and his superhuman feats.

"If I were you, I would visit the bookstore and pick up the Oxford dictionary," Shastri had said after a Kohli century guided India to victory over South Africa in February.

Some years ago, Tendulkar, after scoring his 100th international century, said he would love to see an Indian -- someone like Kohli or Rohit Sharma -- break his records.

At a venue set amidst picturesque hills, Kohli reached the mark when he played Ashley Nurse for a single in the 37th over of the second ODI against the West Indies.

Having an enviable record at the Dr YSR ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium with scores of 118, 117, 99 and 65, Kohli began his latest innings with a boundary through the off-side.

Entering the game 81 short of 10,000, with this achievement the run machine added another feather to his illustrious cap.

Kohli has been in sublime form across formats this year and has scored over 900 runs in ODIs alone. He is currently the world's No.1 batsman in both the Test and one-day formats.

Kohli's journey has been awe-inspiring, from his first-class debut, winning the U-19 World Cup, captaining the Indian team, to rewriting batting records at will.

With his unbeatable performances, Kohli has won several accolades including the Arjuna award, ICC World Cricketer of the year and multiple BCCI international Cricketer of the Year awards.

"It's an incredible achievement by Virat to complete 10,000 runs ODI before he is even 30 years old. It's only expected that Virat will reach many more batting milestones in future," BCCI acting president CK Khanna said.

In the first match against the Caribbean side, Kohli notched up his 36th ODI hundred as he stroked his way to a breezy 140, helping the home team take a 1-0 lead in the five-match series.

Besides Tendulkar and Kohli, Sourav Ganguly, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Rahul Dravid are the other Indian cricketers to cross 10000 runs in the format. PTI 

Brief Score:

India: 321 for six in 50 overs (Virat Kohli 157 not out; AR Nurse 2/46). PTI