Former India batsman Gautam Gambhir was thoroughly impressed by the batting of Virat Kohli in the middle overs in India’s innings against South Africa on Sunday in Kolkata.
After Rohit Sharma gave the team a blistering start with his 40-run knock in 24 balls, Virat Kohli and Shreyas Iyer batted through a tough period on a tricky pitch. The pair posted a brilliant partnership of 134 runs in 158 balls as the ball gripped and turned significantly for the South African spinners.
After Shreyas Iyer’s dismissal on 77, Kohli held one end and anchored the innings allowing Suryakumar Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja to play quickfire cameos.
Virat Kohli brought up his 49th ODI century, equalling the great Sachin Tendulkar’s tally, and helped India post a total of 326, which proved to be way above par as the Proteas got bundled out for only 83 runs. India clinched the win, over the second-positioned team in the points table, by a massive margin of 243 runs with Virat Kohli bagging the Man of the Match award.
Virat Kohli and Shreyas literally batted on a different planet: Gautam Gambhir
Gambhir was effusive in praise for both Kohli and Iyer in the way they tackled the South African bowlers, especially the spinners who got huge help from the Eden Gardens surface. Kohli remained not out till the end and finished on 101* with the help of 10 fours in his innings.
Speaking on Star Sports, Gautam Gambhir said: “Rohit Sharma got the easiest conditions to bat on today , Virat and Shreyas literally batted on a different planet. Spin was the real deal on that pitch and both of them batted exceptionally.”
Ravindra Jadeja took his maiden five-wicket haul in ODI World Cup as India bowled South Africa for merely 83.
On his century, VIrat Kohli said: “Every opportunity to play for India is big one for me. To be able to do that on my birthday, in front of the whole crowd, it’s stuff of dreams, something that as a child you wish had happened. I am very grateful to God that I have been blessed with these kinds of moments, so much love from the fans as well and just continue to help the team in any way possible.”