India’s top three showing unprecedented superiority

India Captain Virat Kholi racked up another triple

There is awe and wonder every time Virat Kohli makes a century in a chase, simply because of how often he does it and often because of how simply he does it. He has 20 centuries now in 75 successful chases, another metric where he is comprehensively beating Sachin Tendulkar (14 in 124 innings) whose record of being the fastest to 10,000 ODI runs won’t stand for much longer either.

Batting immediately above him is Rohit Sharma, who doesn’t break records as regularly as Kohli, but manages some astonishing feats when he does. On Sunday, he became the man with most 150-plus scores in ODIs with his sixth such score. Again, it was a Tendulkar record that was broken.

Without putting too fine a point on it, these two are the best ODI batsmen in the world at the moment, and their being in the same team and being able to bring out the best in each other is the stuff of fantasies.

“Three-twenty-plus totals are always tricky. But we knew it’s all about one partnership. And life isn’t difficult when Rohit is at the other end,” Kohli said at the presentation. “[It] happens very rarely that Rohit plays second fiddle. Among the top three, I’ve preferred the anchor role, but today I felt good and I communicated with Rohit that he should play the anchor role. And when I got out, he took over and [Ambati] Rayudu played the anchor. I’ve always enjoyed batting with him. It’s our fifth double-hundred partnership.”

“Got to get them out, that’s the only way to stem the flow of runs,” West Indies captain Jason Holder said after the match. “They’re two quality players, world-class players. And the only way to stop them from scoring is by getting them out. Up front we were obviously looking for wickets because we felt that that was the only way to win the game. I told the boys there was no point looking to contain.”

This played into their hands and after a couple of balls of hopping and ducking, Kohli decided to look for boundaries against Thomas’ mid-140kph pace. Even during that sequence, the Indian strategy was teetering on bold, if not overzealous, considering the nervy middle order that could be exposed. Kohli had a couple of edges and close calls during this time and it took him almost three overs before he could dominate Thomas and get him out of the attack with severe damage. Once that barrier was passed – with Kohli past 50 in no time – West Indies stood no chance against the pair, who played it turn by turn to beat them into pulp with a 246-run stand that came at 7.45. (Excerpts from ESPNcricinfo)


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