Gautam Gambhir has claimed that birthday boy Virat Kohli was pretty slow against South Africa towards the end of the innings at Eden Garden on Sunday.
Virat Kohli celebrated his 35th birthday with a century by scoring 101* of 121 balls. It is not another normal century but the 49th century of his ODI career to equal Sachin Tendulkar’s century tally. The century has placed him at the top alongside Sachin Tendulkar as the most century holder in One Day International cricket.
After a quick innings, both openers, Rohit Sharma (40) and Subhman Gill departed early. Hence it was the duty of Virat Kohli and Shreyas Iyer to build the innings with maturity against a team who was in a great form till then. Despite facing challenges in the opening overs, Virat managed to score a century and put a challenging total for South Africa on the board.
Kohli was playing pretty aggressively in the beginning but later he went slow whereas Surya Kumar Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja were playing with good strike rates. Later in the post-match interview, Virat revealed that the pitch was tricky. This innings was the epitome of patience and determination.
However, due to the poor performance of South Africa, India won the match by 243 runs. Credit to Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Shami, and Siraj for taking wickets at regular intervals. Jadeja had the most impressive spell, 9 over-33 runs-5 wickets.
Talking about the match, Gautam Gambhir stated that it was the duty of Virat Kohli to bat deep but “I feel it was just the last 5-6 overs where he slowed down a bit”. However, it was enough to run on the board to pressure the Proteas. Virat was in his ‘90s and probably due to the reason he didn’t take unnecessary risks and played a slow innings in the last 5/6 overs- according to Gambhir. He also added, “It could have hurt India if they were batting on a good pitch”.
Gambhir also praised Shreyas Iyer (77 of 87 balls) for his contribution to building the innings along with Kohli. Both the players managed to neutralize Keshav Maharaj’s impressive bowling with their maturity and ability.