Team India striker Virat Kohli has revealed he was surprised by the kind of criticism he faced during the long stretch he failed to score an international hundred. The 33-year-old said he was shocked when turning 60 was called a “failure”.
Kohli recorded his first century since November 2019 on Thursday, September 8, when he broke 122 of 61 unbeaten balls in the 2022 Asian Cup Super 4 clash against Afghanistan in Dubai. The kick was also the former India captain’s first triple-digit tally in T20I.
Kohli’s brilliance in the opener in place of Rohit Sharma (resting) took the Indian team to 212 for two. Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s five-for-four then limited Afghanistan to 111-for-eight. Despite Bhuvneshwar’s heroics, Kohli was rightly named Player of the Match for his century.
Speaking during the post-match presentation, he opened up on the criticism he has faced over the past two years due to his failure to score a hundred. He said:
“What really surprised me was that my 60s turned into failures, which was quite shocking to me. I was batting pretty well and contributing, but it doesn’t seem to be good enough.
Reflecting on career ups and downs, a Kohli philosopher said he accepted whatever fate threw at him and kept working hard. The right-handed hitter added:
“I can’t really identify anything with anyone. Like 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 we can talk about a lot of these things. I’m not saying I have an inflated ego saying I did all of this, but it just happened to me.
“I have no shame in admitting that God blesses us with whatever is in our destiny and we just have to work hard. So, I went back to the drawing board and came back fresh and excited. I kind of left it all behind me.
Kohli also thanked the team management for supporting him and always trusting in his abilities, saying:
“They had great communication with me through those times. They kept me very relaxed and kept my point of view very fair. When I came back too, there was not much information reaching me.
“They just said, ‘you fight and have fun.’ “
Kohli hit 12 fours and six sixes during his innings, scoring at a strike rate of 200. He also featured in a top position of 119 with substitute skipper KL Rahul (62)
“Nothing, it was just stuff in my head” – Virat Kohli on whether he made any technical changes
During its difficult phase, Kohli’s technique was examined in detail. An expert said being a bottom player was a huge disadvantage for him.
A few others pointed to his exaggerated initial moves, which they say forced him to flirt with wide deliveries. When asked if he had made any technical adjustments, the former Indian skipper replied:
“Nothing. I heard a lot of suggestions and a lot of advice was given to me. People were telling me that I was doing this and that wrong, and I selected all the videos of all the best moments I had “It’s the same initial movement, the same approach to the ball. It was just things in my head that I couldn’t explain to anyone.
Ultimately, you as an individual know where you stand and what you need to do. People are entitled to their opinions, but they can’t feel what you feel. I’ve felt the last few months in a very, very different way, which is a very special time in my life. I’m very grateful for that because my perspective had to change in order for me to move forward in life.
Pakistan and Sri Lanka will contest the Asian Cup final on Sunday 11 September.
Edited by Renin Wilben Albert