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Virat Kohli reveals the reason behind his ultra-aggressive celebration in Durban

Kohli's 33rd ODI century propelled India to a memorable victory in the first ODI.

FEATURED WRITER
News 02 Feb 2018, 02:26 IST
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Virat Kohli
Kohli attributed his exuberant celebration to the delight at scoring his maiden ODI ton in South Africa

What's the story?

Indian captain Virat Kohli has accredited his ultra-aggressive celebration in Durban to the joy at scoring his maiden ODI century on South African soil. During the post-match presentation ceremony at Kingsmead, former Proteas all-rounder Shaun Pollock asked the star batsman if his hundred celebration stemmed from an internal team joke.

However, Kohli replied in the negative and instead asserted, "I have not scored an ODI hundred in South Africa before this (match). So, it (this knock) was quite special to understand that you are winning the game and you are able to score a hundred in the first game of the series. Always counts a lot."

"It's all about having the belief that we are here to play. We are here to compete and starting of on a positive note obviously gives everyone a boost in the change room. So, that was certainly something that will be very special in my memory."

The background

Prior to the series opener in Durban, Kohli had played 11 ODIs in South Africa and scored 319 runs with three half-centuries. By virtue of his match-winning century at Kingsmead, the 29-year old batsman also accomplished the feat of scoring at least one ODI ton in every country that he has played thus far.

The heart of the matter

Kohli's stunning century in the first ODI has seen him join the likes of Sachin Tendulkar and Sanath Jayasuriya in the distinguished club of scoring an ODI ton in nine different countries. Apart from Pakistan wherein he has not played a 50-over match thus far, he has now reached the three-figure mark in all major nations.

Chasing 270 on a tricky track in Durban, Kohli manipulated the field with consummate ease and ran vigorously between the wickets. He stitched a game-changing partnership with Ajinkya Rahane for the third wicket.

Extra Cover: South Africa vs India 2018 - Kohli and Rahane's stellar partnership is SK Turning Point of the match

While Rahane chipped in with a vital 79, Kohli registered his 33rd ODI century to steer his team towards the target. After reaching the three-figure mark with a glorious cover drive, the Indian skipper was seen celebrating animatedly even as the dressing room stood in appreciation. Eventually, India cruised to a comprehensive six-wicket victory.

What's next?

Having taken a 1-0 lead in the six-match ODI series, India will be full of confidence when the action shifts to SuperSport Park in Centurion. The second match will take place on Sunday from 1330 IST onwards.

Author's take

Even though some naysayers may feel that the Delhi dasher's actions were slightly over-the-top, Kohli's exuberant celebration merely reiterated his intense passion for the game. It remains to be seen if the captain's match-winning century inspires his team mates to secure India's maiden series triumph on South African soil.

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