Virat Kohli once again showed his masterclass and played a match-winning knock of 112 to lead India to convincing six-wicket win against South Africa in the first ODI of the six-match series in Durban. With this win, the visitors have maintained their winning momentum in the Rainbow nation. Earlier, Team India made a fantastic comeback to win the third and final Test against South Africa in Johannesburg to avoid the humiliating whitewash in the three-match series.
The Indian captain was the driving force in the 189-run partnership with Ajinkya Rahane (79) that swept aside South Africa's bowling and took India to 270/4 in 45.3 overs. (SCORECARD)
India vs South Africa 1st ODI Highlights: Virat Kohli hits 33rd ton as India crush South Africa by 6 wickets to take 1-0 lead
Speaking at the post-match presentation, the 29-year old spoke about his knock and explains why it means so much to him to score a hundred in South Africa. Kohli said: "It was quite special to play such a knock here. We wanted to take the confidence from Jo'Burg to ODI series. To chase 270, we wanted one good partnership. It is easier to break down the total when you have a number on the board. I like to understand the game. I had never scored an ODI hundred in South Africa. Thus, it is special to score a ton here."
Batting first, the Proteas managed to put up a good total of 269/8 in the first innings. It was not huge total but was still competitive, especially with India batting second under floodlights in the day-night game at Kingsmead.
During South Africa's batting, Kohli survived an injury scare in the seventh over of the innings when he attempted to stop the ball in the outfield with a slide. On being quizzed about how's he feeling now, the Indian skipper said, " It was my knee but my groin took the impact(talking about his injury when India were fielding). The outfield for me was quite dangerous. I am ok now."
The captain also praised his bowlers for restricting the hosts to a decent total. He particularly praised his young wrist spinners who once again proved their worth in the coloured outfit. "Bhuvi and Bumrah again, we bank on them. The two wrist spinners have been making the difference for us. Having two wrist spinners I mentioned in the press conference is a huge advantage. It augurs well for the team when you have two fearless youngsters. They set their own field as well. They will have to keep this going for the rest of the series," Kohli added.
Virat also applauded Ajinkya Rahane who got a chance in the playing XI ahead of the likes of Manish Pandey and Shreyas Iyer. Rahane also made a useful contribution of 79 and played some delectable strokes during his knock. Kohli said, " Jinks has a good technique and he took the confidence from the last Test. He never had doubts in his mind. He batted positively and I could solidify the situation from the other end. Hats off to him, he was outstanding."