Virat Kohli has added to his incredible set of numbers with another stellar century in India’s successful chase against West Indies.
Kohli and Rohit Sharma put on 246 runs for the second wicket as the hosts chased down 323 and romped home with 47 balls to spare.
While Sharma remained unbeaten on 152 at the end, the facts surrounding Kohli’s 140 are astounding.
The ton was his 14th as India’s ODI captain, edging him closer to Ricky Ponting’s record 22 as Australian skipper.
But Kohli continues to reach the mark at a ridiculous rate, having played just 50 innings as captain to Ponting’s 220.
The century was the 29-year-old’s 20th in successful chases, moving him further away from fellow Indian great Sachin Tendulkar’s 14, and it was his eighth while chasing at least 300 runs.
Further proving just how good he is in pressure situations, Kohli averages a record 98.25 in successful chases.
For the calendar year of 2018 he now averages a remarkable 127, and he still has six matches left to torment rival bowlers.
The mark is a far above the 76.84 he averaged in 2017 and even better than the 92.37 he put up in 2016.
Beyond the individual numbers, the 246-run stand with Sharma is a new record for India in an ODI chase.
It was the fifth time they have put on a double ton together, two more than any other partnership in world cricket.
“Feels pretty good. A convincing win. I thought West Indies were really good with the bat. And 320-plus totals are always tricky,” Kohli said after the win.
“But we knew it’s all about one partnership. And life isn’t difficult when Rohit is at the other end. It’s our fifth or sixth double-century partnership, it’s a pleasure to bat with him.”
The effort from Kohli and Sharma easily overshadowed a dominant 106 by West Indies batsman Shermon Hetmyer in his team’s 322-8 after being put into bat first.
In reply, India lost opener Shikhar Dhawan in just the second over of the innings after he was bowled by debutant fast bowler Oshane Thomas.
Kohli then took charge with Sharma, who was happy playing second fiddle to his in-form captain, as the duo put on India’s biggest-ever ODI stand against West Indies for any wicket.
The skipper built on his quickfire fifty to get his 36th ODI ton in just 88 deliveries, hitting Kemar Roach for a boundary to make the three-figure mark amid loud cheers from a packed home crowd.
Sharma, who was relatively quiet till his captain’s 100, soon got cracking and reached his century with a boundary off spinner Ashley Nurse.
The two marauding batsmen started to toy with the opposition bowlers before Devendra Bishoo got Kohli stumped against the run of play. Kohli smashed 21 fours and 2 sixes.
Sharma went on to hit the winning six with Ambati Rayudu, who remained unbeaten on 22, at the other end.
“Happens very rarely when Rohit plays second fiddle,” said Kohli of his partner.
“Among the top three, I’ve preferred the anchor role, but today I felt good and I communicated with Rohit that he should play the anchor role.”