Virat Kohli’s agonising wait for an international hundred is finally over, and the star Indian batter is surprised he ended the drought with a century in the game’s 20-overs format.
Kohli’s unbeaten 122 in Thursday’s Asia Cup match against Afghanistan was his first international century since his 70th in a Test match in November 2019.
Holders India could not make the final, but Kohli is the tournament’s leading scorer with 276 runs from five innings including his maiden century in Twenty20 Internationals albeit in a dead rubber.
“I was a bit shocked because this was the format I least expected a century to come in any time soon, but it’s all God’s blessings,” the 33-year-old said during a mid-innings interview.
“I have been working hard and this was just a moment which was very special for me and the team as well.”
Kohli’s return to form augurs well for India ahead of the Twenty20 World Cup in Australia beginning next month.
Talking at the presentation ceremony later, man-of-the-match Kohli said he did not feel he was out of form despite his prolonged wait for a hundred.
“What actually surprised me was my 60s became failures, which was quite shocking for me. I was batting pretty well and contributing, but it didn’t seem to be good enough.”
Kohli said the month-long break he took from the game this year did wonders for him and the team environment also helped.
“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 me very relaxed, kept my perspective right.”
“They said ‘you just bat and enjoy yourself’. So, it was just a matter of getting back into the space of enjoyment.”