After Virat Kohli’s ton on Thursday, former India coach Ravi Shastri was asked about Kohli reaching the triple-figure mark after 1020 days, and he gave his insight on it.
For Virat Kohli, his ton against Afghanistan in an Asia Cup Super 4 match was relieving to say the least. After over 1000 days, Kohli scored a ton in international cricket. His 122* off 61 balls against Afghanistan was also the highest-ever individual score in T20I cricket by an Indian. With the T20 World Cup starting in less than two months’ time, the timing could not have been better for Kohli to roar back to form. After the ton on Thursday, former India coach Ravi Shastri was asked about Kohli reaching the triple-figure mark after 1020 days, and he gave his insight on it.
“You mentioned 1020 days, I can say 700 days I was in that dressing room when that happened. It’s a long time. The monkey is off his back now. When you had astounding success like he has, when 70 hundreds come like this, then you go through a patch of one, two years, two-and-half years, two-and-three quarter years, and then everyday people start reminding – ‘It’s been that long’. He is human. It would have been eating him up. He would be getting up every morning, whether thinking of it or not, subconsciously being reminded,” Ravi Shastri said on Star Sports.
“Today, I think he will be five kilos less. Don’t ask me where the weight has gone from, five kilos less at least from the head. You could see from the last 40 runs of his innings. It was Virat Kohli. His trade mark shots, the confidence, the poise, the utter disdain for bowling is back. It took a long time coming.”
On Thursday, the night belonged to Kohli who warmed a billion hearts with a special innings. His unbeaten effort off 61 balls got him his first hundred since November 2019 and 71st overall, equalling Ricky Ponting’s tally of international centuries. He is now only behind Sachin Tendulkar in the all-time list. It was also Kohli’s maiden ton in the shortest format. With Rohit Sharma being rested for India’s final game of the tournament, stand-in skipper K L Rahul (62 off 41) and Kohli shared an entertaining 119 off 76 balls for the opening wicket.
Kohli started toying with the field and bowlers towards the end of the innings, enough indication that he was back to his best. The knock from Rahul was his most confident one ever since he came back from injury.
The openers played brilliantly against the spinners, including Rashid Khan (0-33), an area they needed to address heading into the T20 World Cup.