Canberra: Since the rise of brand Virat Kohli — which gained prominence after the retirement of Sachin Tendulkar — India never surrendered when playing in foreign conditions. The fourth ODI against Australia here is no exception.
The superstar of Indian cricket scored a 92-ball 106 and kept the fighting spirit alive. It is unfortunate that the middle-order could not step up and complete the mission as India lost by 25 runs.
Kohli accelerated the innings and maintained the pace set by Rohit Sharma (41 off 25). Along with Shikhar Dhawan (126), he stitched a 212-run partnership for the second wicket before falling prey to a wobbly delivery from Richardson.
Kohli came down the track to treat the delivery, full on the leg, only to find Steve Smith at mid-off.
But by then, he had broken a record.
Kohli became the fastest batsman to reach 25 ODI centuries (162 matches). The record was previously held by Tendulkar (234), followed by Ricky Ponting (279).
Call it the Test series Down Under, the triangular series or the World Cup – Kohli took on the Australians all alone.
In his first Test as skipper, he fought tooth and nail and also recorded two centuries in both the innings at Adelaide Oval in 2014.
The Australians, famous for their on-field banter, hated Kohli for he reacted to the words in the middle. He was probably the second Indian cricketer, after Sourav Ganguly, who gave it back.
The Aussies termed him as the spoilt brat to which he replied saying: “Maybe that's the way I am. You guys hate me, and I like that.” He also went on record saying he had no reason to respect Mitchell Johnson – the former Australia speedster.
According to reports, he had said: “I respect quite a few of them, but someone who doesn't respect me I have no reason to respect him. I am out here to play cricket, not to hear anyone's respect.”
But in the ongoing series, with two tons – in Melbourne (117) and here – he did earn the respect of millions.