Another huge chasing scenario, and it was a peerless Virat Kohli who calmly guided India to an impressive win. On Sunday, Team India were given a 316-run target by West Indies in Cuttack in the third and final ODI match of the series. And chasemaster Kohli carved out 85 to guide India to a four-wicket win while being ably assisted by openers KL Rahul (77) and Rohit (63) who stitched their fifth century stand in 2019. After the win, that helped India wrap the series 2-1 and subsequently register their 10th bilateral series win against West Indies, Kohli hailed 2019 as one of India's best years in world cricket, "apart from that 30-minutes at the World Cup".
India started the year with a maiden Test series win in Australia before wrapping up the nation's first-ever unbeaten run Down Under across formats. They emerged victoriously in New Zealand as well, but lost to Australia at home in ODIs in a five-game series despite going 2-0 up in the first two matches. India then headed to England as among the hot favourites to win World Cup 2019, but were eliminated in the semis after a defeat against New Zealand. Post the heartbreak, India scripted an impressive winning run in West Indies across formats and against South Africa and Bangladesh at home.
Kohli said that the World Cup will remain in his sight while also heaping praise on his bunch of fast bowlers that have brough India success in overseas Test over the last two years.
"It's been one of the best years in Indian cricket and apart from that 30-minutes at the World Cup, its been a beautiful year. We will keep chasing the World Cup, we have that vision in place. Having a bunch of fast bowlers is a brilliant thing to have in Indian cricket and them taking the attention away from the spinners is a huge statement. We have it in us to win series overseas and our pacers deserve it fully. We are in the process of trying to find how people react to pressure. It's just about identifying those people and that's something we will keep striving for," said Kohli in the post-match presentation.
Kohli was awarded the Man of the Match for his stunning 85 during the chase of 316. En route to the knock, Kohli became the second-highest run-getter in ODIs in 2019, finishing behind Rohit, while he emerged as the highest run-getter across formats this year - the fourth time in his career.