2019 World Cup was a strange tournament for Virat Kohli. The fact that he didn't get a single hundred in the 9 matches that he played in the tournament suggests that he wasn't at his best. However, throughout the event, he was getting half-centuries where he seemed as much in control as he ever does. It was only a quirk of fate that none of his innings turned into a three-figure score.
But this semi-failure was starting to trouble Kohli and he was very keen to get his 42nd ODI hundred, if one goes by the comments of his teammate Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Speaking after the match to the reporters in the official press conference, the Indian seamer saw the reaction of his skipper after reacing his ton as an indication of huge relief.
"From Virat's expression, you can make out that how badly he wanted a hundred. It's not like he was out of form. It was just that he was getting dismissed in the 70s or 80s in the World Cup. The wicket was not easy. When he came back after getting dismissed, he said the wicket is not that easy," Bhuvi stated.
In the World Cup, the Indian captain was uncharacteristically pushed to the background by his teammate Rohit Sharma who walked away with five centuries. Kohli was almost always among the runs and played a key role, along with Rohit, in ensuring that the Indian team posted good scores which their bowlers can defend. The over-reliance on the top-order, however, was a source of worry for the Indian team and this weakness got exposed fully in the semi-finals when the top-order gave way.
But in bilateral series like these, especially against teams which do not have any bowlers with the 'x-factor,' Virat becomes nearly impossible to stop. He had plundered runs against West Indies last year in a home series and on Sunday, picked up from where he left off in that contest.
The 30-year old now has 42 ODI hundreds. This takes him to just seven short of Sachin Tendulkar's all-time record of 49 centuries. But here is a mind boggling fact: while Sachin Tendulkar needed more than 460 ODIs to get his full set of centuries, Kohli has played just 238 matches so far for his 42. Even if he goes through couple of absolutely horrendous runs of bad form, he should still get to the unconquered landmark of 50 ODI tons without much difficulty well before getting close to Sachin's number of ODI appearances.
What makes cricket special is the combination of individual brilliance and collective team effort needed for success. While Kohli always puts the interest of his team first, it is not surprising that he also doesn't mind getting three-figure scores under his belt.