After leading India to a convincing 168-run victory over hosts Sri Lanka in the fourth ODI of the five-match series at Colombo on Thursday, skipper Virat Kohli found himself being interviewed by a familiar face in the dressing room.
Vice-captain Rohit Sharma shed his cricket pads and took up the microphone as he turned interviewer for fellow centurion Kohli after the post-match presentation.
Centuries from the two had enabled the visitors to take a commanding 4-0 lead in the series as they put on an imposing total of 375 runs after batting first.
Kohli was awarded the man-of-the-match for his 131 off just 96 deliveries and his deputy could not stop gushing about the former’s captaincy.
— BCCI (@BCCI) September 1, 2017
Sharma congratulated the skipper for his performance and remarked that the team has been really performing well ever since Kohli’s tenure began. The opener asked if there was any particular aspect of the team that the Delhi-born man would like to talk about.
“It is amazing to lead this team. You know how the changing-room environment is and how the team gels well together. I think that for me is the most special thing,” Kohli said in reply.
“I think it’s the hunger of all the guys in the team that is making us play this way and it’s amazing to see guys be so hungry. They still want to go out there and do it for two more games (in this series),” he added.
The Indian batting maestro also had kind words for the support staff of the Indian team who have helped the side climb up the rankings from seventh to the top in the span of his captaincy.
It seems that King Kohli is very pleased with the current group’s camaraderie stretching from the players to the coaching staff.
Indeed, he has every reason to be, after India completed a 3-0 whitewash of the islanders in the Test series and look on-course to complete another in the ODIs.
On a day when he marked his 300th appearance in the ODI format, MS Dhoni continued to send the record books tumbling with his characteristic display with both bat and gloves.
The former Indian skipper’s unbeaten 49 off 42 deliveries in the visitor’s imposing score of 375 was the 73rd instance of Dhoni remaining not-out in 50-over competition.
With this innings, he overtook Sri Lanka’s Chaminda Vaas and South Africa’s Shaun Pollock as the batsman with the most number of unbeaten knocks in ODI history.
Dhoni also became the first batsman to hold a batting overage of over 50 having played over 300 ODIs – he now averages 52.20 with the bat.
There were still a couple of milestones which the Ranchi-born maverick missed out on Thursday, though.
MS Dhoni Becomes 1st Player In History To Play 300 Matches With Average Of 50+
— Sir Ravindra Jadeja (@SirJadeja) August 31, 2017
The 36-year-old came in to bat after Angelo Mathews’ double-strike had reduced India to 262-4 as the boundaries dried up for the visitors. With the hosts looking for a way back into the game, Dhoni suppressed any ambitions Sri Lanka had by doing what he does best, finishing.
The experienced veteran kept his calm and composure to combine with Manish Pandey to ensure that India finished strongly after a late wobble.
His single off the penultimate delivery of India’s innings meant that the wicketkeeper-batsman will need at least one more match to join an elite group of players with 100 half-centuries in the 50-over format.
— BCCI (@BCCI) August 31, 2017
Dhoni had a busy day behind the stumps in the second-half of the game where he claimed three catches.
However, the man who had recently levelled Kumar Sangakkara’s record of 99 stumpings, was left hanging in his hunt for a century of such dismissals.
As he continues to prove his detractors wrong with every passing game, there is no doubt that those records too will tumble in due course.
Indian off-spin stalwart Ravichanran Ashwin’s county stint with Worcestershire couldn’t have got-off to a better start as he picked up a five-wicket haul on his debut.
Worcestershire moved into second place in the County Championship Division Two after a 189-runs victory over Gloucestershire.
Ashwin got a standing ovation from the crowd at New Road, Worcester after the new recruit followed up his three wicket haul in the first innings to pick up five more on Thursday to end any chance of a Gloucestershire victory.
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ bowling from @ashwinravi99!
— County Championship (@CountyChamp) August 31, 2017
The visitors resumed their overnight innings at 3-55 chasing an imposing total of 400 in the final innings of the match but apart from a third wicket partnership of 71 between Jack Taylor and Phil Mustard, none of the batsman could get going as Ashwin turned on the magic with the ball.
The star-spinner claimed 5-68 in the second innings to finish with match-figures of 8-162 as Worcestershire bought an end to their mini-slump of no wins in the last three games to move back ahead of Surrey in second place.
Following in Zaheer Khan’s footsteps who had a very successful stint with the county, Ashwin made the most of his first outing for the Midlands club.
— Ashwin Ravichandran (@ashwinravi99) August 31, 2017
Ashwin had a successful tour of Sri Lanka where India whitewashed the hosts 3-0 before signing up for the Division Two county outfit.
He is one of the two Indians currently plying their trade in England’s first-class cricket competition, with Cheteshwar Pujara rejoining with Nottinghamshire for the remainder of the season.
The India spin-spearhead will now be in action again on Tuesday when Worcestershire travel to table-toppers Nottinghamshire where he will square-off against his compatriot.