India captain Virat Kohli heaped praise on Rohit Sharma, saying chasing big totals will never be difficult as long as he has the vice-captain's company in the middle.
Kohli played the aggressor's role in their 246-run stand that helped India gun down a tricky target of 323 with 47 balls to spare in the first of the ongoing five-match ODI series against the West Indies on Sunday.
It was also the sixth double century stand between Kohli and Rohit in ODIs as the two right-handers, with their effortless displays of big-hitting, made sure the packed crowd at Barsapara Cricket Stadium, Guwahati had their money's worth.
Despite losing Shikhar Dhawan early, India never looked in trouble during the chase as Kohli and Rohit were punishing the West Indies bowling unit that lacked the firepower and experience to even test the two top-ranked ODI batsmen.
Kohli just needed 107 balls for his 140 while Rohit wrapped up the chase with a big hit that took him to 152 — a record-breaking sixth 150-plus score in ODIs.
"It feels pretty good. It was very convincing for us. West Indies put up a really good total. 320 targets are very tricky, but we knew we could do it with a big partnership. It's never too difficult when you have Rohit at the other end," Kohli said.
"Among the top three, I mostly take the anchor role because both Rohit and Shikhar [Dhawan] are good stroke-makers. Kohli was adjudged man-of-the-match for his 107-ball knock and the India skipper said he enjoyed his batting today.
"It was one of those days where I felt good and I told Rohit I will continue to bat this way positively and maybe you can play the anchor role.
"It's our 5th or 6th double-century partnership, it's a pleasure to bat with him. When we are batting like that, it's good fun out there and we know the team will benefit from it as well."
Can't afford to take any game lightly: Kohli
Kohli wasted no time in getting back to what he does best — score centuries at will— on his comeback to ODI cricket after a three-month hiatus. The skipper looked in fine touch early in the innings as he was hitting West Indies pacers Kemar Roach and debutant Oshane Thomas out of the attack.
Kohli brought up his 36th ODI ton, 60th overall in international cricket, eventually breaking Sachin Tendulkar's record by becoming the fastest man to get the landmark. Notably, the Master Blaster had needed 426 innings,40 more than the 29-year-old, to hit 60 tons.
Speaking about what seems to be an unquenchable thirst for runs, Kohli said: "I have few years left in my career to enjoy this sport. Playing for the country is a matter of pride and a huge honour.
"You can't afford to take any game lightly. You got to be honest to the sport and that is when the sport gives you back. I try to do that. That's my basic thinking, because you are playing for India and not everyone gets to do that."
During the course of his free-flowing ton, Kohli also became only the fourth batsman after Tendulkar (1996-98), Matthew Hayden (2002-04) and Joe Root (2015-17) to amass 2000 international runs in a calendar year for the third straight year.