Dubai: Virat Kohli hit his first international century (122 off 61 deliveries) since November 2019 as India went on to beat Afghanistan by 101 runs at the Asia Cup on Thursday. This was also Virat’s maiden T20 ton for India which consisted of 12 fours and two sixes.
Speaking about his scintillating century, Virat, who was also Player of the Match, said the time away from the game gave him a good chance to sit back and observe a lot of things about himself. “Firstly I am grateful for how the day went today. Time away from the game gave me a good chance to sit back and observe a lot of things about me. I mentioned one special person – Anushka – who stood by me through these tough times and I mentioned her as she has seen the absolute raw side of me throughout all these months. She was the one putting things in perspective for me, kept giving me the right kind of guidance, right kind of vision moving forward and I came back into the system a very relaxed person.”
” I wasn’t desperate to prove anything to anyone – in a very real sense, not in a way that ‘I’ve done everything’ – it’s just about enjoying the game, understanding what God has blessed you with already and then just being humble and going out there and doing the grind all over again. Today I think was just a build-up of the last few games. I actually batted out of my skin to be honest. I surprised myself,” added Kohli.
Speaking about the long gap between his hundreds, Kohli, said that he surprised to find that even his 60s were considered as failure with the bat. “What actually surprised me was my 60s became failures, which was very shocking for me. I was batting pretty well and contributing, but it didn’t seem to be good enough. But as I said, God has blessed me with a lot of good times in the past, and that’s why I’m in this position where these things can be spoken about. I have absolute no shame in admitting that God is blessing us all with everything in our destiny. We just have to work hard. So I went back to the drawing board, came back fresh, came back excited. The team management have also had great communication with me through these times. They’ve kept my perspective right. When I came back there was not much information coming my way, they just said ‘you bat and enjoy yourself’. So it was just a matter of getting back into the space of enjoyment.”
“I have had many suggestions, lot of advice has come my way. People were telling me I was doing this wrong, that wrong, I picked out all the videos from the best times I had. It was the same initial movement, same approach towards the ball and it was just what was going on inside my head I wasn’t able to explain it to anyone. At the end of the day you know as an individual where you stand, and what you have to do for your journey, and people will have their opinions. But they cannot feel what you’re feeling. I have felt these last few months in a very different way, which is a very special time in my life. I’m very grateful for that time, my perspective had to change for me to move forward in cricket,” said the former skipper.
Winning Captain KL Rahul said, “Coming back after a big injury and surgery, I’ve learnt that it’s not as easy as you think. Finding the same touch or rhythm wasn’t coming as easily as I thought it would. Happy I could find some time in the middle. Once I hit a few in the middle of the bat I started feeling good.”
Speaking about India’s jurney in the Asia Cup, Rahul said, “The result has been disappointing. We came into the tournament wanting to play the final and the groove of winning big tournaments. There are positives to take out, and we’ve really been challenged. Time to sit back and reflect where we need to improve, but it’s happened at a really good time – obviously don’t want to lose – but we can take away a lot of lessons.”