Chennai: Lavish in his praise for centurion Virat Kohli, Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said the swashbuckling batsman paced his knock very well while guiding India to what turned out to be a match-winning total against South Africa in the do-or-die fourth ODI here on Thursday.

MS Dhoni
MS Dhoni

India rode on Kohli’s brilliant 138 to post 299-8 and then restricted the visitors to 264-9, despite a valiant ton by rival skipper AB de Villiers to win by 35 runs and level the five-match series 2-2.

'Keen to improve'
"Virat is someone always keen on improving his game. Even when he would get out scoring a 60 or a 70, he wanted to convert it into a hundred. The way he paced from 50 to 60 and then from 100 to 110, this is the bracket when most batsmen get out. Once he crosses that mark, he’ll always play a big innings because that’s his mindset,” said Dhoni at the post-match press conference.

Rotating strike
Dhoni also praised Kohli for rotating the strike and putting pressure on the fielding side.

"He was rotating the strike really well. Also, the important thing is when you play such a long innings, the middle
overs — putting pressure on the fielders is the key," he said.

"If you can freely rotate... that’s one area where we have to improve as a team, especially with the kind of reverse swing the opposition gets. They can cramp us and have a fielder close to the umpire and mid-wicket. If both batsmen can do it, it eases off the pressure," he added.