Virat Kohli scores hundreds for fun in ODIs they say and he did exactly that once again in the third ODI against South Africa at Cape Town on Wednesday.
Kohli’s 34th ton helped India post a mammoth 303/6 after being put into bat. The Men in Blue then restricted the Proteas to 179 to win the match by 124 runs and take a 3-0 lead in the six-match series.
Kohli’s unbeaten 160 is his third score of 150-plus at Cape Town and his 12th as captain, which is also the highest ODI score by an Indian against South Africa in South Africa.
The previous record was held by Sourav Ganguly who had made 127 at Johannesburg in 2001.
Kohli also went past Ganguly’s record of most hundreds by an Indian captain in ODIs with his 12th ton. He achieved the feat in 100 innings fewer than Ganguly. Only two players have scored more centuries as captain – Ricky Ponting with 22 centuries and AB de Villiers with 13.
India now have 29 wins under their belt whenever Kohli has scored a hundred with 18 of his centuries coming in successful run chases.
Kohli took 197 innings to slam 34 hundreds which is 101 fewer than Sachin Tendulkar, who reached the landmark in his 298th innings against Namibia in 2003. Kohli has now hit 55 international hundreds, the fifth most in history.
The Delhi dasher also went past Ganguly’s record of most runs scored by an Indian against South Africa in a series. The Prince of Kolkata had scored 285 from five matches in 1999-20 when the Proteas toured India.
Not only that, he also overtook Mohammad Azharuddin as the leading run-scorer by an Indian captain in South Africa in a bilateral series. Azhar had scored 232 in a seven-match series against the South Africans back in 1992. (Kohli is on a different level, says Warner)
Kohli already has amassed 318 runs in 3 ODIs at an average of 318 with two hundreds and a strike rate of over 96. Shikhar Dhawan, who made 76 in this game, is second on the list with 162 runs at 81.00 with two half-centuries.
He now needs to score 31 runs more to become the leading run-scorer in a series between India and South Africa. Currently, AB de Villiers holds the record for most runs scored in a series between the two countries. He hammered 358 runs from five matches when South Africa toured India in 2015.
This was Kohli’s third hundred of the South African tour and his second in three ODIs. Earlier in January, Kohli had struck a classy 153 in the second Test in Centurion but that effort came in a losing cause.
Last Thursday, Kohli had smashed his maiden ODI hundred in South Africa. The fluent 112 in the first ODI in Durban helped India start off on a strong note.
Kohli enjoyed a sensational run 2016 across formats. He did even better in 2017 and finished as the highest run-scorer in ODIs, amassing 1460 runs including six hundreds and seven fifties from 26 matches.
And last but not the least, Kohli is the only batsman in the world to average more than 50 in all three formats, which has been the case for a while now. He is currently averaging 53.40 in Tests, 57.34 in ODIs and 52.86 in T20Is with a total of 55 international centuries in his kitty.