Kohli not desperate to reach milestones after leading India to huge win over Sri Lanka

By Sports Desk January 15, 2023

Virat Kohli is "playing for the right reasons" after his unbeaten 166 led India to a 317-run victory over Sri Lanka.

Kohli, India's former captain, has been in sparkling form in recent months. Since the start of the T20 World Cup in October, the 34-year-old has scored 706 runs across 12 white-ball matches (six T20Is, six ODIs).

It was his knock on Sunday at Greenfield International Stadium, combined with Shubman Gill's 116, that paved the way for India to wrap up a 3-0 series win.

Kohli's 166 not out came from 110 deliveries and included 21 boundaries, eight of which were sixes – the most maximums he has struck in a single innings across any format in international cricket.

He is now just three tons short of Sachin Tendulkar's tally of 49 ODI centuries, but Kohli is not interested in personal milestones.

"It is the by-product of the intent I have, my mindset is to help the team, and put the team in strong position," Kohli said after winning the Player of the Series and Player of the Match awards.

"I have played for the right reasons and that has helped. Ever since I came back from the break, I am feeling good and I don't have desperation to get to a milestone.

"I want to continue doing that and I'm content. I was happy to be batting out there and in that space I end up playing good cricket.

"I am in a nice space right now, it's just about being organic."

Mohammed Siraj was the pick of India's bowlers as Sri Lanka were reduced to 73 all out, taking 4-32, while Mohammed Shami took 2-20. 

"Shami has always been there for us with the new ball, but the way Siraj has come in and done with the new ball has been fantastic," Kohli added.

"He picks wickets in the powerplay, which was an issue in the past. It is a great sign for us heading into the World Cup."

Siraj said: "I was trying hard to pick up a five-for but you get only what is written in your destiny, however hard you try. My rhythm has been good for a long time."

India have enjoyed a dominant series, and captain Rohit Sharma had little to be displeased about.

"I thought it was a great series for us," he said. "We bowled pretty well, got wickets, got breakthroughs when we needed. Batters throughout the series were piling up those runs."

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