Virat Kohli’s century drought is now a topic of the past. Kohli, the former India captain has finally rediscovered the groove that made him the most feared batter in world cricket as he began the year 2023 in style, notching up a record 45th ODI century against Sri Lanka in the series opener in Guwahati.
Kohli blasted 113 off 87 balls, en route to shattering two humongous Sachin Tendulkar records, and played a pivotal role in India’s imposing 67-run win at the Barsapara Stadium on Tuesday.
Virat received a couple of lifelines with Sri Lanka dropping him twice on 52 and 81. Tendulkar leads the charts with 49, and Kohli is just behind by four. From here onward, it’s not a matter of if, but when Kohli reaches the pinnacle.
Tendulkar took to Twitter and lauded the 34-year-old by writing, “Keep performing this way, Virat, and keep making India proud. Splendid batting performance by the top order!”
India are now ahead with 1-0 lead against Sri Lanka
Talking about the match, Sri Lankan captain Dasun Shanaka won the toss and invited India to bat first. Indian team management took the tough call of dropping Ishan Kishan, who scored a magnificent double hundred in India’s last ODI against Bangladesh and went ahead with Shubman Gill.
The hosts were off to a great start as India’s skipper Rohit Sharma (83 off 67) and Gill (70 off 60) added 143 for the 1st wicket. Both made half-centuries and that set the tone for a big score. Virat Kohli then made most of the platform. Kohli’s dismissal eventually cost the team at least 10-15 extra runs, but his 113 was magical. However, the Indian team was still able to put up a massive total of 373 on the scoreboard.
Chasing the target, Sri Lanka lost a couple of wickets early and that dented them badly. Dhananjaya de Silva and Pathum Nissanka tried their best but their efforts never scaled giant proportions as per the demands of the chase. Shanaka came in late, a little too late, and got a tremendous ton but that only reduced the margin of defeat as they lost the match by 67 runs.