Former Indian cricketer Gautam Gambhir was full of praise for Virat Kohli’s outstanding batting performance in the middle overs during India’s match against South Africa in Kolkata on a Sunday.

The game started with a blazing performance from Rohit Sharma, who scored 40 runs off just 24 balls. However, it was the partnership between Virat Kohli and Shreyas Iyer that stole the show. They faced a challenging phase on a tricky pitch, crafting a remarkable partnership of 134 runs in 158 balls. The pitch offered significant assistance to South African spinners as the ball gripped and turned significantly.

After Shreyas Iyer’s departure at 77, Kohli stood firm and anchored the innings, allowing Suryakumar Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja to play quick, impactful cameos.

Virat Kohli reached his 49th ODI century, equalling the legendary Sachin Tendulkar’s record. His century played a crucial role in India’s final total of 326, which ultimately proved insurmountable for South Africa. The Proteas were bowled out for just 83 runs, resulting in India’s victory by an astounding 243-run margin. Virat Kohli was deservedly named the Man of the Match.

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Gautam Gambhir was effusive in his praise for both Kohli and Iyer, particularly in how they adeptly handled the South African bowlers, who found substantial assistance from the challenging Eden Gardens pitch. Kohli remained unbeaten, finishing with 101* and striking ten boundaries during his innings.

Speaking on Star Sports, Gautam Gambhir commented, “While Rohit Sharma had the advantage of favorable batting conditions, it seemed like Virat and Shreyas were batting on an entirely different surface. Spin was the decisive factor on that pitch, and both of them batted exceptionally.”

Ravindra Jadeja achieved his maiden five-wicket haul in an ODI World Cup, playing a pivotal role as India dismissed South Africa for a mere 83.

Reflecting on his century, Virat Kohli expressed his gratitude, saying, “Every opportunity to represent India is significant to me. Being able to achieve this on my birthday, in front of a packed stadium, is the stuff of dreams—an aspiration from childhood. I am immensely thankful for these moments, the incredible love from the fans, and I am committed to continuing to contribute to the team in every way possible.”

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