back icon


I wasn't going to run the singles: KL Rahul on Kohli's hundred

Last updated on 19 Oct 2023 | 08:55 PM
Google News IconFollow Us
I wasn't going to run the singles: KL Rahul on Kohli's hundred

Virat Kohli scored his 48th ODI hundred in India's fourth World Cup victory

There is no denying that the 2023 ODI World Cup is missing out on close games. None of the 17 matches so far have gone to the last over. But two games have brought a different kind of thrill at towards the end - whether the concerned batter will get to his hundred or not before the deficit runs out. 

It happened when KL Rahul fell three runs short, finishing 97 not out in India’s opening fixture of the tournament, against Australia. In Match 17, Virat Kohli was in a similar situation as India outshined Bangladesh to register a 7-wicket win. Chasing an under par total, India chased down 257 to clinch their fourth victory in a row at the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) Stadium in Pune on October 19. 

After an impressive start from the India openers, Kohli walked out to bat at the score of 88/1 in 12.1 overs. For those lingering on the hopes of hiss 48th ODI ton, run-rate was never an issue. However, only 169 runs were left for Kohli to pull off a hundred. 

The former India captain was gifted two free hits to kick start his innings. Soon he was 13 from three balls and Kohli never looked back from there. While there were no qualms that India will cross the finish line comfortably, Kohli’s race against the deficit added thrill to a one-sided contest. 

When he reached 80 (off 81 deliveries), India were only 19 away from the target. The best scenario for Kohli to complete his ton was if he scored all the remaining runs. Coincidentally, Rahul was batting at the other end, at 34 from 34 balls. 

The pair then turned down five singles as Kohli dashed towards his hundred. 

While this approach created polarized opinions on social media, Rahul clarified it was his call to not take those singles. 

"He [Kohli] was confused, he said it will not look too nice, not to take the single, it's still a World Cup, and it's still a big stage. 'I don't want to look like I am just trying to get the milestone'," Rahul told the Star Sports panel about Kohli’s mindset. 

"But I said, I mean it is not won but still I think we'll win quite easily, so if you can get to the milestone why not, you must try. And he did that in the end. I wasn't going to run the singles anyway,” he added.

Kohli, eventually notched up his ton. He finished the game with a six that took him from 97 to 103 when two runs were required. He was adjudged as the player-of-the-match for his unbeaten 103 off 97 deliveries. Kohli scored nearly 60% of India’s runs after stepping on the crease. 

"I wanted to make a big contribution," Kohli said after the match. 

"I have had a few fifties in World Cups, and I have never really converted them so I just wanted to finish the game off this time around. Yeah, hang on till the end which is what I have done over the years for the team,” he said. This is Kohli’s first World Cup hundred since scoring 107 against Pakistan in India’s first game in the 2015 World Cup. 

With four wins in as many games, India are leveled with New Zealand at the top of the points table. Kohli mentioned there is a great atmosphere in the dressing room which is translating into team spirit on the field. 

"There is a great atmosphere in the change room," Kohli said.

"We are loving each other's company, the spirit is for everyone to see off the field, that's why it is translating like that on the field. 

“It's a special feeling playing at home, playing in front of all these people so we just want to make the most of it,” he added. 

India face New Zealand next in what turns out to be a top-of-the-table clash in Dharamsala on Sunday (October 22). 

Related Article