India v West Indies, 1st ODI, Kochi November 22, 2013

Kohli focussed after equalling Richards

ESPNcricinfo staff

'Still a long way to go for me' - Kohli

Virat Kohli was pleased to equal Viv Richards' record of being the fastest to 5000 ODI runs but added that he was still in the initial stages of his career and had a long road ahead of him. Kohli reached the landmark in his 114th innings, the same as Richards, when he scored 86 for India in the first ODI against West Indies in Kochi.

"I was told in Bangalore during the last ODI [about the record] but I did not really remember it because I do not approach a game thinking about records," Kohli said. "I said to myself that if you bat well, along the way these milestones are bound to happen. To equal a feat with a player like him [Richards] is a very good feeling but it does not stop here because it is more or less the beginning. I am only 25. It is nice to equal his record but still there is a long way to go."

Kohli and Rohit Sharma put on 133 for the second wicket to set up a victorious chase in just 35.2 overs after India's spinners restricted West Indies to 211. The visitors' modest total was in sharp contrast to India's previous ODI series against Australia, in which over 3500 runs were scored in 11 innings. Kohli credited India for adapting to the Kochi pitch that he said was different from the flat surfaces seen in the Australia series, during which the "momentum" had been emphatically with the batsmen.

"There was variable bounce on the wicket in the first innings," Kohli said. "Compared to that, it was better in the second innings. But the wicket was slow and the ball was turning. It wasn't a flat batting wicket. It wasn't a free flow of runs. It was a low total which is why maybe we finished it earlier. If they had 260-270 on the board it would not have been easy to chase it down in the time we did.

"The Australian series was more of momentum. Both the sides had momentum as far as batting is concerned. Everyone backed themselves and went for their shots. There was an air of confidence around that whole series that batsmen could go out there and express themselves. It was a great display of batting from both sides.

"Today wasn't same as the Australian series. It was a different sort of wicket. We might get more wickets that behave differently. We should be good to adapt to any sort of wickets or conditions. We switched gears pretty quickly from the Australian series and showed that we are a side that can adapt to any conditions and play smart cricket."

India motored home at a run a ball for the loss of only four wickets but Kohli did not think that was because the West Indies attack was lacking on control. "They have pretty experienced bowlers," Kohli said. "Ravi Rampaul...Sunil Narine is a very good spinner. Dwayne Bravo has got about 180-odd one-day wickets. Darren Sammy is a very clever bowler. In the Champions Trophy in England, their bowling attack was right up there. They were making teams struggle for their runs.

"We just batted well. I don't think they bowled too badly. We hit percentage shots and did not try to slog the ball and didn't try to play shots that were not on the merit of the ball. It was more of good batting than indisciplined bowling. Credit goes to our batters."

Before Kohli and Rohit dominated, India's spinners took eight West Indies wickets for 117 runs in 31.5 overs. MS Dhoni, the India captain, said it was the slow bowlers who set the game up for the batsmen to polish off a modest chase. "We didn't start very well, with the ball coming on nicely," Dhoni said. "There was a bit of variable bounce which assisted our fast bowlers. Overall, I think the spinners did the job and kept the pressure on.

"It was not easy for the opposition to rotate the strike, so they had to go for the big strokes. I thought it was a wicket where the spinners can do the job, so I thought let's start with [Suresh] Raina. He bowls slightly flattish and can be of good effect with the variable bounce. The first wicket he got [Marlon Samuels], it didn't bounce much.

"I think they [Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit, Kohli] have been batting really well. Again Virat was brilliant. I thought our bowlers did well and the batsmen negotiated the new ball really well. There were not many runs to be scored, but still they batted really well, especially against Narine who was spinning it both ways."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Altaf on November 27, 2013, 14:00 GMT

    How long record of both will remain as Amla already scored 3700 in 76 innings. It seems he will score 5000 in less than 100 innings.

  • Dummy4 on November 26, 2013, 1:56 GMT

    Well, Virat was facing tough bowlers like McKay, Kulasekhara, Maxwell and Perumal at difficult pitches like Jaipur, Nagpur or Vizag whereas Viv faced easier ones like Lillee, Thomson, Kapil, Willis or Imran at batting paradises like Perth, Brisbame or the Oval. Again, his home runs 800 (three figure!) vs 4000 away (averaging 57 @ 92) doesn't place him anywhere near Virat, who was wearing the additional burden of helmets and had to deal with alluring super-overs and new rules, not to mention 'the expectations of a billion'. So, Viv, sorry, Virat is beyond you!

  • Harmon on November 25, 2013, 17:21 GMT


    First you need to tell us CHATFIELD WHO? You want to include just any T, D & H and say look Viv scored runs facing this man?

    If a bowler bowls only 2 overs in some match and it is rained off, do we count that or not? What about those innings when the batsman bats but faces no ball or is out without facing a ball or comes out to bat with just 5 runs left to score? Point is, Matches played is a valid criteria. It has been like this historically.

    I wish you had read my other comments here. You talked of modern times, flat tracks, field restrictions blah blah blah but I have already taken care of these arguments too. Pls read my comments at ...... (November 23, 2013, 19:06 GMT).

    Viv avgs 47 in ODIs in a supposedly tougher era while Kohli avgs 52 in a supposedly easier era. Even if we say Kohli's avg would have been low in Viv's times, how low would it have gone? From 52 to where? Are you assuming his avg would have been 26-36 in Viv's times? On what basis?

  • Par on November 24, 2013, 0:34 GMT

    @harmony, you gave the number of matches played, that closes argument, really!. Just for record Virat reached the 5K mark in same innings played as Sir Viv. Number of matches ? How does that even matter ? If the guy didnt come out to bat why should that game count? Is there any logic to trotting out the number that Virat did in 120 matches vs Viv's 126 ? They both got out to bat 114 times. Period. Its another story no one wants to count the fact that Virat plays on flat beds with 350 being on par score, bowling restrictions, fielding restrictions with bowlers so out of the game today that they beg the captain to get a bowling machine instead of making them bowl (this is the bowlers of winning side!).

  • Harmon on November 23, 2013, 19:06 GMT

    I will present one argument in two forms ...

    ONE: Who is to say what Kohli might have done had he played in that era? Why do people imply that Kohli would have been unable to do what Viv did in his time? If Viv played without helmet hats off to him but does that mean that Kohli won't have been able to bat without a helmet? This way the F1 drivers of 60s were way superior than Senna, Shumi & Vettel !!!

    SECOND: In that supposedly difficult Era, Viv avgd 47 & got 11 100s in 187 ODIs. In this new & supposedly easy Era, Kohli avgs 52 & has 17 100s in 120 ODIs. Had Kohli's record been similar to Viv THEN we might have concluded that since Kohli has the same record as Viv in FAR EASIER conditions then surely he would have done much poorly in the times of Viv.

    But Kohli is way ahead of Viv stats-wise. (Match wise, Kohli got to 5k faster than Viv.)

    A batsman for whom 300+ or even 350 chases are child's play is among GOATs. Were Amla/ABDV able to chase 300+ vs India in CT13?

  • uma on November 23, 2013, 11:49 GMT

    some different opinions but who said kohli is equal to viv? he equalled his record... not his batting. viv is master. read the lines clearly.... but dont take anything away from him. the way he faced malinga was great. malinga was fearsome for his action and his pace. well done kohli.

  • Albert on November 23, 2013, 10:22 GMT

    Wasn't each ODI inning 60 overs long when Viv Richards was playing? Perhaps analysing strike rates may give another perspective.

  • GAURAV on November 23, 2013, 9:51 GMT

    All want kohli to perform in South Africa or else they will throw out of team. That is ridiculous. By the same standard all south african, australian and english players must score runs on 4th and 5th day turning tracks in India to prove they are world class. They aren't even able to bat 3 days in India.

  • Dummy4 on November 23, 2013, 7:07 GMT

    we indians will never be satisfied. we credit more foreign pleyers than ours,kohli not faced great bowlers that not his fault, present day bowlers not great that not his fault.

  • samresh on November 23, 2013, 4:25 GMT

    kohli is a class act 4 sure.. He is head nd shoulders ahead of the current crop of batsman.we should give him the due credit.and its not fair comparing him with sir viv.. In 10 yrs tym kohli wud have broken all odi records.. He is legend in d making..

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