Millennium Post

Virat badly wanted a ton, says Bhuvneshwar Kumar

Port of Spain: Indian pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar was all praise for his skipper Virat Kohli who ended a long patch of century-drought in the 50-over format with a classic ton against West Indies in a rain-affected second ODI of the three-match series which the Men in Blue won by 59 runs (DLS method).

On Sunday, Kohli — who was unable to score a single ton in the World Cup — ended his five-month drought for an ODI hundred with a brilliant 120-run knock during which he also went past Sourav Ganguly on the list of most runs scored in ODIs. After reaching the century-mark, Kohli reacted aggressively which showed how eager he was to break the shackles and come back to his usual attitude of scoring hundreds. "From Virat's expression you know he badly wanted to score a hundred, not because he was out of form but because he was getting out on 70s and 80s. He is always known for scoring big runs," said Kumar speaking at the post-match press conference.

Earlier in the day, Kohli stroked his 42nd ODI century to pave way for India's 279/7. He stitched a 125-run stand with Shreyas Iyer for the fourth wicket.

The Delhi Capitals captain, returning to the ODI side in this series after almost 18 months, registered his third half-century in his sixth innings to help consolidate India's position after they were reduced to 101 for 3 in the 23rd over. In a 68-ball knock, he smashed five boundaries and a six as he amassed 71.

Kumar then returned with figures of 4/31 in his allotted 8-over spell and helped India bowl out West Indies for 210 in 42 overs, who were given a revised target of 270 in 46 overs after a brief interruption due to rain.

"It was a crucial partnership with Virat. It wasn't an easy wicket to bat on. He (Iyer) played with a lot of maturity," said Kumar while praising Iyer.

Meanwhile, the India skipper reckoned it wasn't an easy wicket to bat on and thus, it was pertinent for one of the top three to get a big score.

"It was a good outing with the bat," Kohli said at the post-match presentation. "It feels good to get a hundred when the team wanted me to get one. Shikhar and Rohit didn't get a big one. One of the top three has always got the big one. A senior man had to step up and today was my opportunity to step up."

Kohli was also full of praise for Iyer and added, "He (Iyer) is a very confident guy and has the right attitude. He really got the tempo going and took the pressure off me. After I got out, he got the extra runs as well."

Both the teams will remain in Trinidad for the final match of the series to be played on Wednesday, with the hosts having an opportunity to level the contest while the Men in Blue will aim for another commanding performance to seal the three-match rubber.

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