India v Australia, 2nd ODI, Visakhapatnam October 20, 2010

Kohli felt under pressure to keep his place

ESPNcricinfo staff
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Virat Kohli's match-winning century gave India an unbeatable lead in the series but it also came at an important time for the batsman himself. In compiling 118 against the Australians he amassed more than he had in his past seven innings combined, a run of form that had him looking over his shoulder leading in to this game.

His best effort in the Asia Cup and the triangular series in Sri Lanka was 37 and he was lucky that one of the other middle-order options, Rohit Sharma, had endured a similar lean patch. There will be no doubt over Kohli's position in the team now, after he set up India's successful chase of 292 for 5.

"Honestly, I was struggling to get runs," Kohli said of his recent form. "I had not scored in last six-seven matches. I was under pressure. I was not hitting in the gaps. It was very satisfying and it gives you a lot of confidence when you score chasing under pressure. I will not say my place is cemented. I have to keep performing well in few more chases.

"You try to learn from the mistakes. You tend to fail sometimes. This is part and parcel of the game. You do the basics right and train hard, it pays back. I didn't perform well in last two series. I could not convert my scores into big knocks. There was a struggle for a place."

Kohli's efforts were enough to overshadow the other centurion in the match, Australia's captain Michael Clarke, who set up their big total with an unbeaten 111. It followed a disappointing Test series for Clarke, whose top score in the two Tests was 14, and he said batting first having lost the toss was a challenge.

"I found it quite difficult early," Clarke said. "The wicket was pretty slow and it was quite hard to beat the infield and get boundaries. In conditions and heat like that today it was just about trying to hang in there and we knew if we had wickets in hand we could put on a decent total."

The Australians did just that, through a breathtaking finale from Cameron White, whose unbeaten 89 from 49 balls helped Australia plunder 84 from their last five overs. Clarke described White's effort as "as good an innings as I've seen in one-day international cricket", and despite the loss the captain saw several positive signs.

"I think we do take a lot out of this match," Clarke said. "We're disappointed we didn't get the result we wanted, we obviously wanted to win the game. But I thought Michael Hussey and Cameron White played really well, I thought John Hastings in his first game on debut bowled really well, Clint McKay was fantastic and I see a lot of potential in Mitchell Starc."

Hastings collected 2 for 44 in a promising start to his international career, while the left-arm fast bowler Starc finished with 0 for 51. Although India now cannot lose the series, Australia can still level it 1-1 if they win the third and final game, which will be played in Goa on Sunday.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • KrazyCricketKid on October 22, 2010, 21:56 GMT

    The team for the 3rd and final odi should be:

    1. MURALI VIJAY 2. ROHIT SHARMA 3. VIRAT KOHLI 4. YUVRAJ SINGH 5. SURESH RAINA 6. MS DHONI 7. SAURABH TIWARI 8. RAVICANDRAN ASHWIN 9. PRAVEEN KUMAR 10. ASHISH NEHRA 11. MUNAF PATEL

  • dummy4fb on October 22, 2010, 16:36 GMT

    @shovwar.. That is why the rules has changed. And in the new rule the umpires are not supposed to ask the opposition captain about permission of a runner. If they do then probably the umpires forgot about the new rule. People should get over bringing the Andrew Strauss incident because the rules have changed. When you wrote "...Maybe Aus would have won if they didn allow the runner...or maybe not...But as a neutral fan I enjoyed some good cricket. " This kind of thought and argument is demeaning to Kohli's achievement. It is like saying, if there would not be a batting powerplay then Australia would not score over 225. The fact is there is a powerplay and thats the rule. And whats up with all the all CAPS statements. lol!

  • frozeninusa on October 22, 2010, 10:46 GMT

    Two very impressive match-winning innings by Pujara and Kohli. Refreshing to see confident and aggressive approach by Indian youngsters. Raina was superb, did not allow any pressure to build after loss of wickets. Also good to see Tiwary keep his cool on his debut. I really feel Pujara can be the long-term #3 for test matches. For ODI, if we replace Vijay, Vinaykumar, and Dhawan by Sachin, Sehwag, Zaheer, and Harbhajan, that is the best 12 for India at the moment. Add Gambhir, an all-rounder, and a fast bowler to complete the 15.

  • Andy199 on October 22, 2010, 7:25 GMT

    Yup.. lot of my friends don't like him... I am not totally fond of him either... but as a human being he has the right be a moron or a god or anything he is... as humans we are expected to accept him the way he is... as long as he spreads good vibes around the team and scores runs FOR INDIA.. if the team India has no complains.. there really is no concern... after all we want team India to win.. if he is really arrogant or whatever he will find his way back home soon.. my favorite Kambli was chucked out on disciplinary grounds inspite of being a world class batsman.. Dhoni is not one to entertain morons.. he'll take care of it before we do.. good job fellas... keep it up!!

  • heterosexualcricketfan on October 21, 2010, 23:28 GMT

    XooX:Your problem is with him is not because of his percieved 'aggression',it's just parochialism & a pathetic mindset.If he vents after getting a hundred why should you have a problem with that.he isn't directing it to you.You,want batsman to jump up & down & prolly do a tap dance for you.even better if they do a lil belly dance for your viewing pleasure right? you don't even know him personally,none of us do.he speaks politely to anyone who interviews him,how the fu*k can you claim,so righteously that he's arrogant or unnecessarily aggressive. his fan page on facebook has crossed 20,000.so obviously quite a few people like him.thats a pretty big number for a facebook fan page for a young cricketer fat,ugly,lonely unsuccesfull sods generally are bitter towards anyone who's even moderately successfull.perhaps you have all those qualities.evryone else please note,the mumbai brigade-harsha,sanjay manjrekar are maintaining a stoic silence after kohli's innings.it's deafening.

  • manasvi_lingam on October 21, 2010, 22:39 GMT

    There are far too many people competing. Let's take a look. Now, since MSD is the captain, he earns himself a place. There are 4 bowlers who need to be selected. Sachin and Sehwag when fit, earn their places. That leaves 4 places remaining. For these 4 spots one has Gambhir, Raina, Yuvraj, Kohli, R. Sharma competing. Since the two openers are fixed and Gambhir can open, I am not including Vijay. Outside chances for Pujara as well. Of these 4, Rohit is no good and he shouldn't be selected. This leaves the other 4 batsmen selecting themselves: Yuvraj, Raina, Kohli and Gambhir. In case one of them is injured, Pujara should come in. But, what of the allrounder? Well, Yuvi is the answer. He has recently been bowling all his 10 overs. Apart from him, we have Raina and Sehwag and Kohli as well. And this should be the first choice WC team: Sachin, Sehwag, Gambhir, Kohli, Dhoni, Raina, Yuvraj, Ashwin, Bhajji/Praveen, Zaheer, Nehra

  • shovwar on October 21, 2010, 21:54 GMT

    @ AL DAVE....I KNO WUT UR TRYNA SAY!!! GRAEME SMITH WASN ALLOWED A RUNNER BY ANDREW STRAUSS IN A VERY IMPORTANT CHAMPIONS LEAGUE GAME WHICH ENGLAND WON AT THE END. THESE RULES SHOULD BE MORE CLARIFIED...N I DO STRONGLY BELIEVE IF A PLAYER GETS SICK OR CRAMPED WHILE PLAYING AN INNINGS, UMPIRES SHOULD NOT ASK THE OPPOSITION CAPTAIN COS THE OPPOSITION CAPTAIN CANNOT MAKE A JUSTIFIED DECISION COS HIS TEAM COULD BE AT STAKES, WHICH HAPPENED TO ANDREW STRAUSS...A RUNNER SHOULD BE ALLOWED WHEN THINGS LIKE THAT HAPPENS..AND UMPIRES SHOULD HAVE THE FULL AUTHORITY...

  • ProdigyA on October 21, 2010, 21:11 GMT

    @Praveen Marutham, i really admire your team for selecting Ashwin over Bhajji, well for me too Bhajji is loosing it, he has no variety and falling short of ideas when he is hit. I think nowadays Ajmal is a better baller than Bhajji. I really like the way Ashwin bowled in CL. But i think bhajji will have a upper hand cause of the experience he has. I almost like your team except for Praveen kumar, not reallly sure he would be of real help in subcontinent pictches for the WC and once the ball looses its shine i think he just average bowler. But we dont have too many options in the pace attack, do we? N by the way does anybody know wat happened to Ifran (not yousuf, he is an idiot). If he is fully fit i think he should defintely be given a shot before the WC.

  • dummy4fb on October 21, 2010, 20:15 GMT

    Here come the excuses! The Aussie fans bashing Kohli for taking a runner should realize that the MCC rulebook says the opposition captain need not be contacted for getting a runner as AL Dave has pointed out. The change was made recently so that un-sportive players like Strauss cannot ruin the opposition's chances!

  • livinproof on October 21, 2010, 19:36 GMT

    At first I thought, what a joke; why did the umpires allow Kohli a runner for cramp when the laws of the game don't permit them to? I was still a little confused from Mohali when Laxman succumbed to the same injury he had in the last test he played against Sri Lanka, but having read the reasoning of the knowledgable, fair minded Indian fans below it appears the answer to the mystery is simple. Because India are the best and Australia are whinging losers who make lame excuses. Oh, and it's harder to run with a runner. The next generation of Monga's post amongst us.

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