Virat Kohli led from the front, scoring yet another century as India demolished West Indies by 59 runs (DLS method) in the second ODI to take an unassailable 1-0 lead in the three-match series. It was Kohli’s first century since March as he notched up his 42nd ton ton close the gap on Sachin Tendulkar. Kohli struck 120 off 125 balls, helping India post 279.

India lost Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma cheaply. Rishabh Pant also could not impress at number four as India found themselves three down for 101. But before West Indies could make further inroads in the game, Kohli and Shreyas Iyer (71) steadied the ship and batted India out of trouble. The two added 125 runs for the fourth wicket to set the platform for a competitive total.

During the course of his century, Kohli also surpassed Sourav Ganguly’s tally of 11,363 ODI runs for India. He also became the quickest to score 2,000 ODI runs against West Indies.

In reply, West Indies were all out for 210 while chasing a revised target of 270 in 46 overs. Opening batsman Evin Lewis set the tone for the chase by scoring 65 before being dismissed by an excellent one-handed catch by Kohli. India then took four wickets for just three runs including the important wicket of Nicholas Pooran (42) to reduce West Indies to 182 for 8 from 179 from 5. West Indies were eventually all out for 210.

Speaking at the end of the game, Virat Kohli pointed out the benefit of bowling second. He also expressed his delight over scoring the ton. Virat Kohli said the onus was on him to deliver after his senior teammates Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan failed.

“Good outing with the bat. Exactly why we wanted to bat first. If you saw the later half of the West Indies innings, it was difficult to bat on. I think the rain in between helped them else it would have been tough to bat in the middle overs. We knew that anything over 270 would be challenging. Feels good to get a hundred when the team wanted me to get one. Shikhar and Rohit didn’t get a big one. One of the top three has always got the big one. A senior man had to step up and today was my opportunity to step up. It was important to string in a lot of dot balls,” said Virat Kohli.

Kohli further spoke on the importance of having a chinaman and a leg-spinner in the side against a team that has a number of left-handers.

“The batting became a little easy thanks to the rain when Hetymer and Pooran were batting together. It was tough gripping the ball when it went into the outfield. It was about staying in there and hoping one wicket will put pressure on them and luckily we got the wickets. The number of left-handers work in favour of Kuldeep and that’s why we went in with him rather than Chahal. He is more lethal against the left-handers because of his variations and the lines that he bowls to them. Kedar was precise as well. With the number of left-handers, you want to go with a chinaman bowler rather than a leggie. With Jadeja playing, it helps our balance,” said the skipper.

He concluded by lavishing praise on Iyer who made the most of his first outing in the Caribbeans on the tour.

“He (Iyer) is a very confident guy and has the right attitude. Really got the tempo going and took the pressure of me. After I got out, he got the extra runs as well,” said Kohli.