Kohli describes Chennai ton as one of his most challenging knocks

Kohli describes Chennai ton as one of his most challenging knocks

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Virat Kohli considers his match-winning century against South Africa in the fourth One-Dayer in Chennai on Thursday as one of his most challenging knocks. It was his 23rd ODI hundred, making him the second-highest century-maker for India in this format behind world record holder Sachin Tendulkar (49).

The 26-year-old Test captain went past Sourav Ganguly’s mark of 22 hundreds as he become only the fifth international batsman to score an ODI century against all Test playing nations after Ricky Ponting, Herschelle Gibbs, Tendulkar and Hashim Amla.

It was Kohli’s first century in 13 innings, his previous hundred coming at the World Cup 2015. "It is one of my more challenging innings in ODI cricket especially because of the bowling attack they have. South Africa have been bowling pretty well in the series in the right areas. The pitch wasn’t that quick for us to get boundaries throughout," Kohli told bcci.tv.

His 138 came off 140 balls with six fours and five sixes, and lifted the hosts to a winning 299-8 and levelled the five-match series, going into Sunday’s decider in Mumbai. The innings included 66 singles and nine doubles, that saw Kohli struggle with cramps in hot and humid Chennai.

“Till about 70 or 75 I only had three boundaries and a couple of sixes. Also, only six boundaries throughout which are not too many. The conscious effort was to keep rotating the strike and keep getting those doubles as well,” he said.

“It was a day where you had to push yourself further than your body might allow you to. I would have done that for maybe an hour more until I fell on the ground. But we have levelled the series, so it feels brilliant.”

The victory kept India kept alive in the series, after his controlled 77 in the third ODI in Rajkot went in vain as the tourists eked out an 18-run win to nose ahead.

“It feels really special to get a big hundred especially when we were 2-1 down in the series. The team winning and you getting a hundred is obviously a very special day. It was something that was needed to be done for the team while batting at number three again. I knew that this pitch was probably a 260-270 pitch but I pushed myself after I got my hundred.”

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