India skipper Virat Kohli, on Tuesday, led from the front to fire his side to a thrilling eight-run win over Australia in the second ODI. He scored 116 to help India post 250 before the bowlers came up with a fine effort to bowl out the visitors for 242. In doing so, Kohli became only the second man after Sachin Tendulkar to score 40 hundreds in ODIs. Kohli now needs 10 more tons to break Tendulkar’s record and become the leading centurion in ODIs.
Kohli also drew level with Tendulkar with his fourth hundred against Australia in India. This was also Kohli’s second ODI ton against Australia this year after his Adelaide masterclass. Kohli has now scored seven tons against Australia in ODIs and is only behind Tendulkar (9) in terms of most tons in India-Australia ODIs.
Coming to the game, India had a poor start after being asked to bat first. Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma departed with just 38 runs on the board.
India were reeling at 75 for 3 at one stage before an 81-run stand between Kohli and Vijay Shankar revived the innings. The duo looked set to bat India to a position of strength before Adam Zampa broke the stand by running Shankar out. The allrounder scored 46 off 41 balls. India then suffered two big setbacks in quick succession. Last game’s heroes Kedar Jadhav and MS Dhoni departed on successive deliveries as the hosts found themselves reeling on 171 for 6 from 156 for 3.
However, Kohli remained firm from his end and went on to score a fine century, his 40th in ODIs.
He was well supported by Ravindra Jadeja (21) as the duo added 67 runs for the seventh wicket to take the score close to the 250-run mark. The hosts then suffered another collapse towards the end, losing their last four wickets for just 12 runs to get all out for 250 from 238 for 6.
In reply, Australia started well. Their openers Aaron Finch and Usman Khawaja added 83 runs before both of them departed on the same score. Afterwards, Glenn Maxwell and Shaun Marsh too failed to get going. Peter Handscomb and Marcus Stoinis then tried to resurrect the innings before the former was run out for 48. Stoinis held firm from one end and went on to compile a fine fifty but Australia eventually lost the game by 8 runs.
And the century also helped Kohli achieve an incredible milestone. He now holds the record of most centuries as captain against Australia. The right-handed batsman has six centuries against Australia. Kohli went past the likes of Clive Lloyd (West Indies), David Gower (England), Brian Lara (West Indies) who scored five tons each.