Kohli smashes 61-ball ton to help India win sixth ODI

Virat Kohli brought up his hundred off 61 balls BCCI

Virat Kohli's 61-ball century helped India convincingly beat Australia, by six wickets, despite the tourists setting a mammoth 351-run target in the sixth ODI played in Nagpur on Wednesday.

Australia lost its openers early, but Captain George Bailey and Shane Watson led the counter attack. The pair bludgeoned the Indian bowlers from the start and put on a 168-run third-wicket stand.

Watson, the aggressor, reached his sixth ODI century from just 94 balls. He fell shortly after, but Bailey - who was on 74 at the time - continued the onslaught. Bailey hit 19 boundaries before he was dismissed for 156, but he had already done the damage.

India's openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan began the chase cautiously. Dhawan got a reprieve early on when Glenn Maxwell dropped him on 19. The drop proved costly as Dhawan and Rohit switched gears thereafter. Crisp shots and lovely placement remained the feature of the rest of the 178-run partnership.

Kohli stepped into the fray after Rohit's departure in the 30th over. He made his intentions clear from the start and smashed five boundaries off the first three overs he faced. The Kohli-Dhawan combine brought up the fifty partnership in quick time. But Dhawan fell shortly after scoring his century.

Kohli continued taking the bowlers apart but wickets kept falling at the other end, as India lost Suresh Raina and Yuvraj Singh cheaply. The sudden breakthroughs helped the tourists apply the brakes. MS Dhoni found it difficult to tackle James Faulkner and Mitchell Johnson, who got the ball to move away from him.

Eventually the asking rate came down to a run a ball in the last over, but India were through with three balls to spare.

"Virat has grown as a player and is someone who is very confident," Dhoni said. "We gave him the opportunity but the best thing was that he grabbed the opportunity. He loves to perform and keeps performing. The way he batted in this game, he made it look easy. It was difficult in the end as there was reverse swing but the way he batted was fantastic."