Kohli masterclass keeps India afloat

Virat Kohli reaches his hundred as India race to victory AFP

Turnarounds don't come any better. Fortunes don't change more dramatically. And emotions don't bear a starker contrast. At the halfway stage, Sri Lanka would have felt they had one foot in the final, having left the India bowlers deflated after a dominating performance with the bat. And they would have been right to think that way, the Indian batting having shown little promise in the series and the team on the brink of elimination.

But Virat Kohli put on an imperious display of strokemaking, his malleable wrists powering an Indian fightback conspicuous by its absence on what had been, until now, two forgettable overseas trips. Kohli's innings made a mockery of an imposing score, kept India's finals hopes alive and left Sri Lanka having to beat Australia for a third time in the tournament to knock India out.

Given India's poor outings with the bat in their recent games, one would have expected them to struggle to chase a target of 321 in 50 overs. They achieved it in 36.4 - needing to chase it in 40 to stay alive in the series - and did so with Kohli finishing things off in a blaze of glory. Kohli was in the zone; he dismissed anything that came his way with clinical precision, found the boundary at will whether the field was in or pushed back, ran swiftly between the wickets to catch the fielders off guard and middled the ball with scarcely believable consistency.