Happy to start like this in the World Cup year: Virat Kohli on Player of Series award against Sri Lanka

by IANS |

New Delhi, Jan 16 (IANS) After winning Player of the Series award in India's 3-0 series victory over Sri Lanka, talismanic batter Virat Kohli said it is indeed an ideal start for him, especially with the ODI World Cup scheduled later this year.

On a slow yet placid pitch at the Greenfield International Stadium, Kohli was off the blocks quickly, and anchored the innings for a large part to be unbeaten on 166 not out off 110 balls, his tenth hundred against Sri Lanka. In his third century in last four ODI innings, Kohli hit 13 fours and eight sixes, feasting on a hapless bowling attack.

In the last ten overs, he fetched 84 out of the 116 runs India scored to literally bat Sri Lanka out of the match as the hosts' made a mammoth 390/5 on Sunday. Kohli was the top run-scorer of the series, making 283 runs in three innings at an average of 141.50 and strike-rate of 137.37, making centuries in Guwahati and Thiruvananthapuram.

"It's been a great start (to the year). It's been a while since I started the year like this? getting a hundred and then scoring two hundred in the series and also becoming the man of the series. I am just happy that in the World Cup year, I can start like this, and I know I can be consistent."

"When I start like this, and I start feeling confident, then things usually go well. I am happy from a team's point of view that I got to start like this and that the team can gel really well as a batting unit," said Kohli in a video posted on bcci.tv.

Kohli also congratulated opener Shubman Gill for his second ODI century and first in India too. "Congratulations for your first hundred in India. You deserved to get one in the first match. Today also you played phenomenally well and many more at home and away will come in the future."

He had also shared a 131-run partnership with Gill, who was stylish in his 116 off 97 balls, hitting 14 fours and two sixes, which came after missing chances to get a big knock in Guwahati and Kolkata.

"I was disappointed when I got out in the first ODI. I was looking to go big in that match but unfortunately, nahi ho paaya (it didn't happen). In Kolkata, also, I was playing well but failed to convert my start. Yahi tha ki agar start milta hai to lamba jaane ki koshish karunga (Today I just wanted to take it deep if I would have got a great start). I have felt in Test matches as well that I left a bit of runs there and could have gone even big," he said.

Gill also credited Kohli for helping him through the innings to reach three-figure mark. "Jaise jab hum batting kar rahe they tab aapne aa ke kaha ki tera aaj lamba jaane ka time hai aur aapne aate hi rhythm badal diya (While we were in the middle, you told me that today I am going to score big and you changed the rhythm right from the word go)."

"You were batting on 15 in first seven-eight balls and whatever was discussed with you, I had kept that in mind while batting alongside you."

Kohli remarked he enjoyed batting with the youngster. "I really enjoyed batting with Shubman. We haven't batted for very long many times. But today (Sunday) was the day where we had a good partnership and it really helped the team as well. So, I was very happy about that."

The next assignment for India in their home season is three ODIs against New Zealand, starting from Wednesday in Hyderabad.

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