India registered a convincing eight-wicket win against South Africa in the sixth ODI series at Centurion to clinch the six-match series 5-1. Virat Kohli’s side bounced back in style on a tour which started with a 2-1 loss in the three-match Test series in January.
Kohli, who was adjudged the player of the match and series after the sixth ODI, credited his wife Anushka Sharma for keeping him motivated throughout the tour which has been nothing less than a roller-coaster ride. “People who contribute off the field they deserve a lot of credit as well,” said Kohli during the post-match presentation ceremony.
“My wife (Anushka Sharma) who keeps me motivated deserves a lot of credit. She’s been criticized a lot in the past. But she’s one person who’s kept me going throughout the tour.”
Bollywood actress, Anushka, who got married to Kohli in December last year had often been targeted by Indian cricket fans’ whenever Kohli fails at international stage.
Kohli struck his 35th century in the final match and finished the series with 558 runs. In the process, the India skipper also became the first player to score over 500 runs in a bilateral ODI series. Speaking on his performance, Kohli said that the opposition’s plan to bowl short at him helped him score big.
“I like setting up for the short ball as well. If I get into good positions, I feel like I can get boundaries off those short balls. It was a blessing to get so many short balls up front. They kept bowling short. In the day it was really slow. At night time the ball came on beautifully,” added Kohli.
Speaking over his record-breaking spree, the 29-year-old said he has a long time to go and hopes to continue performing for India.
“It’s a wonderful feeling. I got 8-9 years left in my career. I want to make the most of it. Want to train as hard as I can.
“It’s a blessing from God that I’m healthy. I’m getting to play for my country. I get to captain my country. It’s an honour. I just look at it that way. I just keep my head down so I can give 120% for the team, added Kohli.
Kohli said that the Indian boys must be proud of their efforts considering how they have bounced back on the tour after losing the first two Tests.
“The first two Tests we weren’t happy with ourselves, “said Kohli. “Couldn’t take the game to the opposition. Didn’t take a backward step since Johannesburg.
“I was here, having lost the series, and speaking to you. And now I’m here, having won the series, and speaking to you. Been a great turnaround. Boys can be proud of their efforts.”