Virat Kohli ‘grateful’ after hitting his 71st international hundred

Written by Mohan Sharma

India star Virat Kohli said he was grateful for how the day went as he ended his hundred drought by hitting his 71st international century during the Asia Cup 2022 Super 4 match against Afghanistan in Dubai on Thursday, September 8.

Kohli scored his first international hundred after 989 days precisely to light up the dead rubber. His 71st hundred also puts him alongside the great Ricky Ponting in the list of most centuries. Sachin Tendulkar is still way ahead with 100 international tons.

“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,” said Kohli at the post-match presentation ceremony.

“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. [Long gap between hundreds?] 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 absolutely 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,” Kohli signed off.

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Mohan Sharma