Team India batter Virat Kohli has revealed that he was surprised by the kind of criticism that he faced during the long stretch when he did not score an international hundred. The 33-year-old stated that he was shocked when his 60s were termed as “failures”.
Kohli registered his first century since November 2019 on Thursday, September 8, when he smashed an unbeaten 122 off 61 balls in the Asia Cup 2022 Super 4 clash against Afghanistan in Dubai. The knock was also the former Indian captain’s first three-figure score in T20Is.
Kohli’s brilliance while opening the innings in place of Rohit Sharma (rested) lifted Team India to 212 for two. Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s five for four then restricted Afghanistan to 111 for eight. Despite Bhuvneshwar’s heroics, Kohli was deservedly named Player of the Match for his century.
Speaking at the post-match presentation, he opened up about the criticism he faced over the last couple of years due to his inability to score a hundred. He said:
“What actually surprised me that my 60s became failures, which was quite shocking for me. I was batting pretty well and contributing but it doesn’t seem to be good enough.”
Reflecting on the ups and downs in the career, a philosophical Kohli said that he accepts whatever destiny has in store for him and keeps working hard. The right-handed batter added:
“I can’t really pinpoint anything to anyone. As I said, God has blessed me with a lot good times in the past and that’s why I am in this position where a lot of these things can be spoken about. I’m not saying that I have an inflated sense of ego saying I have done all this, but it has just happened to me.
“I have no shame in admitting that God is blessing us with all that’s 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 all that behind me.”
Kohli also credited the team management for backing him and showing faith in his abilities on a consistent basis, saying:
“They have had great communication with me through these times. They’ve kept me very relaxed and kept my perspective very right. When I came back as well, there was not much information coming my way.
“They just said, “you bat and enjoy yourself”. Out of experience, I know that I’m playing well. I have done it in the past already and it was just a matter of getting back into the space of enjoyment.”
Kohli smacked 12 fours and six sixes during his innings, scoring at a strike rate of 200. He also featured in an opening stand of 119 with stand-in skipper KL Rahul (62)
“Nothing, it was just things in my head” – Virat Kohli on whether he made any technical changes
During his struggling phase, Kohli’s technique was scrutinized in detail. One expert said being a bottom-handed player was a massive disadvantage for him.
A few others pointed out his exaggerated initial movements, which, according to them, forced him to flirt at wide deliveries. Asked if he had made any technical adjustments, the former Indian skipper replied:
“Nothing. I’ve heard many suggestions and a lot of advice has come my way. People were telling me I’m doing this and that wrong, and I picked out all the videos of all the best times I had. It’s the same initial movement, the same approach towards the ball. It was just things in my head that I could not explain to anyone.
At the end of the day, you know as an individual where you stand and what you need to do. People are entitled to have their opinions but they cannot feel what you are feeling. I have felt these last few months in a very very different way, which is a very special time in my life. I am very grateful for it because my perspective had to change for me to move forward in life.”
Pakistan and Sri Lanka will feature in the final of Asia Cup on Sunday, September 11.