Virat Kohli honoured to equal Ricky Ponting; Sachin Tendulkar ‘quite a bit away’ | india-vs-sri-lanka-2017 | Hindustan Times
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Virat Kohli honoured to equal Ricky Ponting; Sachin Tendulkar ‘quite a bit away’

Virat Kohli is level with Ricky Ponting in the list of most number of ODI centuries with 30. Sachin Tendulkar holds the record with 49.

india vs sri lanka 2017 Updated: Sep 04, 2017 12:36 IST
N Ananthanarayanan
India captain Virat Kohli celebrates his century against Sri Lanka in Colombo on Sunday.
India captain Virat Kohli celebrates his century against Sri Lanka in Colombo on Sunday.(Reuters)

India skipper Virat Kohli was delighted that his team was relentless in their 5-0 One-Day International (ODI) series sweep over a Sri Lankan side which was far from its best. (IPL MEDIA RIGHTS AUCTION LIVE)

Virat Kohli led from the front, scoring his 30th century to lead India to a six-wicket victory. It was double and treble delight for the skipper. He led India to a third series sweep while the visitors had also sealed a series sweep in the Tests.

“We did very well in Tests, but in the ODIs we didn’t do so well. From the last game in the West Indies, now we have won six. That is something we wanted to address before this series, we wanted to be relentless,” he told the media after the series at the Premadasa Stadium.

READ | Virat Kohli, Bhuvneshwar Kumar guide India to ODI series clean sweep in Sri Lanka

“We wanted to make sure we are challenging ourselves every time we are going out on to the park. That helps you when you are going through difficult situations. These habits are very difficult to create, and once we create them, then you take it easy, it can come back to hurt you.”

Virat Kohli said experiments will continue, but he hoped the Indian team settled down quickly in the build-up to the 2019 cricket World Cup.

“We spoke about experimenting with a few guys going up and down the order. If you go against India, there is one pattern they follow, so people tend to prepare like that. But when we get more confident in the roles we are given, then we can be more unpredictable. That becomes a lethal combination. A team will find it difficult to set a pattern against us. But we have to embrace that change.”

READ | Virat Kohli hits 30th ODI century, joint second highest in cricket history

Virat’s 30th century has now left him level with Ricky Ponting with only Sachin Tendulkar (49) ahead in the all-time ODI list.

“I only look to perform as much as I can for the team. These things are something that keep happening in your career. You don’t target these things (records) but those stat windows are hard to neglect. It is an honour for me to equal someone like Ricky Ponting.

“That is not something you aim for, but as batsmen you respect what these legends have achieved. It is nice to have equalled one. But (Tendulkar) is quite a bit away. That is going to take one hell of an effort.

“But I am not thinking about that. Even if I get 90 not out and the team wins, that will be fine.”

After smashing a 96-ball 131 on Thursday in the fourth ODI, Virat Kohli’s innings was in contrast, as he made 110 not out in 116 balls.

“The pitch was very different today. The pitch had been under the covers for two days and sticky. So, the spinners were much more effective. I only had nine boundaries in my century.

READ | MS Dhoni is precious, needs to perform vs better sides: Sourav Ganguly

“Two big knocks in three days. Today was very challenging, just running those singles and doubles and rotating the strike. We played with six batters, including MS (Dhoni). So it became much more important for me to stick in there and not play lot of high risk shots.

“At this stage of your career, it becomes about awareness. The last game, it was about coming out to play the way I wanted to, but today playing a batsman less, the responsibility was on me.

“That becomes the second nature when you have done it for X number. It is not something you need to plan before, react to a situation. You need to be very respectful to the game and the results would come.”

The Indian skipper hailed Jasprit Bumrah, who finished with 15 wickets in the series, after claiming his maiden ODI five-wicket haul.

“Getting a Man-of-the-Series award in the sub-continent as a fast bowler is a great thing to achieve,” he said. “He bowled in really good areas… I hope he continues the same against Australia.”