Virat Kholi reacts after scoring 150 runs during the one day international Asia Cup cricket match between India and Pakistan at The Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka. AFP/Munir uz Zaman
After catching up with Sourav Ganguly and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni on India's top run-getters' list, Virat Kohli at one point looked set to join the elite group of double centurions in one-day cricket, Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag. He accepted the feat did cross his mind just once during his match-winning knock against Pakistan on Sunday in a ground on which he has now scored four of his 11 ODI tons.
"At one point, looking at the scoreboard the thought of getting a double century did cross my mind," the India vice-captain said. "But it was just for a second. I immediately told myself 'what am I thinking?' and refocused on the job at hand, which was to help India win," he added, with a cheeky smile.
Kohli was the common factor in two sizeable partnerships, first with Tendulkar and then with Rohit Sharma that clinched India's biggest run chase. "Sachin Tendulkar has been my idol. Ever since I was a child, I would go to the grounds and try and get as close as possible to him. The first time I saw him really close made my day. Now, sharing the dressing room and batting alongside him makes me feel honoured and privileged," he said.
"As for Rohit Sharma, I am a fan of his batting. Whenever he plays those long innings, he makes batting look so easy."
Kohli toyed with the bowlers. Pakistan's biggest threat, Saeed Ajmal, was dealt with consummate ease and as it increased the confidence of a shaky Sharma at the other end, Pakistan shoulders were drooping.
Finishing it off
"There have been matches when I have got out in the 42nd over and I did not want to repeat those mistakes. After becoming No 3 in the batting order, I value my wicket much more. I know if I stay at the wicket, the runs will come," Kohli said, negating questions on how he looked to take Rahul Dravid's spot in Tests.
"As a batsman you look to improve everyday. It is not about replacing someone. You cannot think of replacing someone of that stature. It is about wanting to improve as a player," he said.