We were halfway through the 30th over when Jason Holder pitched a ball on good length outside off stump to Virat Kohli who was batting on 56. The Indian captain came down the track and whipped the ball with unbecoming ease and a hint of disdain.
The ball rocketed across the turf wide of long on into the midwicket fence. Virat Kohli had just taken a ball from the 6th stump line and whiplashed it to the midwicket fence. There was no extravagant bat flow – just wrists and a jab with the familiar MRF stickered bat.
Everyone in attendance knew that the something special was soon to happen even as Kohli held pose, almost in amazement, of his own brilliance.
It was a historic day for Indian cricket as Virat Kohli became the fastest man to reach the 10,000-run milestone, 54 innings quicker than second-placed Tendulkar, joining the little master beside fellow Indians Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid and MS Dhoni.
For Virat Kohli, it was normal service as he annexed a handful of records en route 10,000 One Day International runs and shortly after notched up his 37th ODI century, finishing with an unbeaten 157 helping India set Windies a target of 322.
Speaking on Nerolac Cricket Live, Aakash Chopra spoke about the generational significance of this innings. "You tend to remember the first man who reached there [Tendulkar] and then it's all about who reached there first [Kohli]. Of course, times have changed, eras have changed. There is no point in comparing two giants but then let's acknowledge what this young man has achieved."
The former India international humorously added, "I've been told that Oxford dictionary is considering replacing [the word] consistency with Kohli."
Virat Kohli became the 13th batsman in ODIs to score 10,000 runs.IANS
Ian Bishop also weighed in on the narrative of Kohli being a once in a lifetime cricketer and took it once step forward indicating that the India captain is already one of the greatest sportsmen ever.
"I don't know how many viewers can sit and watch this and be privileged enough to say 'I was around when this guy was doing what he did'. Those who saw Vivian Richards; those who saw Donald Bradman; those who saw Brian Lara coming through the system. We are privileged to see this kid. LeBron James, Michael Jordan – eras come and go."
Virat Kohli's journey has been very special and the man himself reminisced his childhood while talking to Arjun Pandit.
"I've been told by my parents whenever I could walk and run, I just picked up a cricket bat and I would ask my dad to throw the ball at me and I would swing at it. I always wanted to play with people who were older than me. I used to play with my elder brother's group of friends. But they never allowed me to bat. They would always make me bowl and field. After that, they used to run back home and I would start crying," said Kohli.
The opposition would certainly wish they could play similar cards to stop him from scoring. In 2018, Kohli has been quite unstoppable, taking just 11 innings to complete the last 1,000 runs of his 10,000. Kohli has 1047 ODI runs this year.
Ian Bishop attributed his amazing numbers to his insatiable appetite for scoring runs irrespective of having reached personal milestones.
"When you start the job, you finish the job. Again, Virat Kohli started the job today while Rohit Sharma departed early and he finished the job – what a typical example. You see some young batsmen, they get to a landmark and think 'I have done my part, I'm in the team, I'm resting now.' Not this guy. [He] kicks on and on and on," said the birthday-boy Ian Bishop.
Aakash Chopra, meanwhile, regarded Kohli's unprecedented success to his ability to stay detached from obsession while being able to differentiate between hunger and greed.
"He is acutely aware of what he is doing but he's also managing to stay detached because there is a possibility of getting obsessed with milestones. You don't see that greed – you see hunger but you don't see greed. You see that this guy is driven but you don't see obsession with numbers," said Kohli's state-mate, before going on to add, "The quality to detach yourself and then have a slightly broader view of the entire thing is what separates the good from great and he [Kohli] is that league of extraordinary men."
On a sultry afternoon in Vizag, Kohli needed 81 runs to reach 10,000 but he went ahead and scored his 4th 150 shortly after notching up his 15th century as an ODI captain in just his 51st innings to move within 7 centuries of Ricky Ponting's tally as captain.
Kohli's landmark run came halfway through the 37th over when he knocked back an Ashley Nurse delivery to long off to jog a single before bowing down to acknowledge the applause.
Focussing solely on Kohli's innings, it was a masterclass in game awareness as he only started lofting the ball after India lost their 5th wicket. Before that, Kohli was his familiar self – running hard between the wickets and hitting the ball into the gaps to maintain a healthy scoring rate without taking any risks. A word on the man's fitness too as he kept running the tight singles and twos till the 50th over while not losing the strength to clear the ropes despite his previous energy-sapping efforts.
Darren Ganga aptly summed up the ubiquitous feeling towards the Indian skipper on air when he hit an Obed McCoy slower ball into the second tier, "We are running out of superlatives and adjectives to describe Virat Kohli."