Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli scored his 23rd ODI ton in Chennai.Reuters

India's Virat Kohli played a gem of an innings against South Africa in the fourth ODI in Chennai to help his team emerge victorious. With it, India have drawn the best of five ODI series level at 2-2, hence the fifth ODI in Mumbai on Sunday will act as the decider.

After losing opener Rohit Sharma in the fifth over, Kohli walked into bat and the batsman shouldered the batting responsibility and scored 138 runs off 140 balls, which included six 4s and five 6s.

The Indian batsman, who scored his 23rd ODI hundred, was pleased with his performance and especially when it came for a winning cause.

"It always feels good when you get a century and the team wins and while chasing I like it because you get a chance to finish the game. Any century in a winning cause is always special," said Kohli.

One of the main features of Kohli's batting has been his ability to rotate the strike when he is not able to score boundaries.

Kohli, who runs well between the wickets, was forced to take a number of singles and twos as the South African bowlers bowled in the right areas, not allowing much to work around with. It was only the mastery of Kohli, which helped him deliver the goods for India in a must-win encounter.

"They were bowling in good areas and was tough to get the boundaries so we had to get the single and twos," said Kohli.

There was a time in the second innings of the match when AB de Villiers was threatening to take the match away from India, who only managed to dismiss the batsman in the 45th over for 112 runs. Had any of the batsmen from South Africa stayed longer at the crease alongside de Villiers, the visitors could have won the series in Chennai.

Kohli was scared that his hundred might go in vain when de Villiers was at the batting crease.

"I told him (de Villiers) in the dressing room my heart was in my mouth when he was batting, he plays unbelievable shots," Kohli said.

Both the centurions felt Chennai's heat as Kohli was struggling to run across the 22 yards during the latter part of his innings.

"The cramps are fine now and the physio told me not to take a chance because I might tear a muscle or two if I sprint or something and the fifth match is still left. It was pretty difficult because there wasn't much breeze during the day when it was hot," added Kohli.

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