India captain Virat Kohli, who was criticised earlier for bringing his newlywed wife Anushka Sharma along on the South Africa tour, credited the Bollywood actress for the visitors' historic series win in South Africa. Riding on Kohli's unbeaten knock of 129 runs, India defeated South Africa in the sixth and final ODI to seal the six-match series 5-1 at the Supersport Park, Centurion, on Friday. (SCORECARD)
"It's been a roller-coaster tour till now. People who contribute off the field they deserve a lot of credit as well. My wife who keeps me motivated deserves a lot of credit," Kohli said in the post-match conference.
"She's been criticized a lot in the past. But she's one person who's kept me going throughout the tour," he added.
The powerhouses of two glam-filled industries -- cricket and Bollywood -- Virat and Anushka tied the knot in a secret but a grand wedding in Italy on December 11.
The Indian skipper became the first ever batsman to amass 500 runs in a bilateral ODI series, surpassing teammate Rohit Sharma, who collected 491 runs in the six-match home series against Australia in 2013-14. He smashed three hundreds in the series, including in the final ODI, to lead from the front.
"You want to lead from the front with your performances. It's a wonderful feeling. I got 8-9 years left in my career. I want to make the most of it," he said.
Talking about his fitness that inspires many on and off the field, the 29-year-old added, "It's a blessing from God that I'm healthy. I just look at it that way. I just keep my head down so I can give 120% for the team."
Earlier in the second ODI on the same venue, Kohli managed to score 46 runs (not out) but India went on to win the match by nine wickets. In the second Test, which India lost by 135 runs, Kohli scored contrasting knock of 153 and five runs in successive innings.
"It was a day where I felt really good. Last game I wasn't in the right mindset. Just decided to start timing the ball. Beautiful place to bat under lights," Kohli claimed.
"They had to try something. I like setting up for the short ball as well. It was a blessing to get so many short balls up front. They kept bowling short. In the day it was really slow. At night time the ball came on beautifully," he added.
The captain heaped praise on the rest of the players in the team, especially two wrist spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal, who deceived the best of the batsmen on the South African soil.
"They've shown a lot of character. Especially those two young spinners. They've been so brave and outstanding. They've come back from Johannesburg superbly," Kohli said.