Virat Kohli ended a more than three-year drought of trying centuries in the fourth try of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy against Australia in Ahmedabad, and the batting legend later admitted that the “shortcomings” were leading to growing “complications” and it was “eating me up”.
‘King’ Kohli came in with a shot of 186, his 28th century trial it took three years and three months to come, and it led India’s strong response to Australia’s 480 with a total of 571, which also included a century of Shubman Gill.
However, the test ended in a draw on day five, giving India a 2–1 series win.
In a chat with head coach Rahul Dravid, 34-year-old Kohli revealed that the weight of expectation has become a bit difficult for him to handle.
“Honestly, I let the complications grow a bit on me because of my shortcomings,” Kohli told Dravid in the chat, the video of which was posted by BCCI on its website.
“Desperation to hit triple digits is something that can grow in you as a drummer. I let that happen to me to some extent. But the flip side is that I’m not a happy guy. with 40 to 45. I am very proud to play for the team.
“It’s not like when Virat Kohli should stand out. When I beat over 40, I know I can get a 150. It was eating me up a lot.
“Why am I not able to get that big score for the team? Because I was proud of the fact that when the team needed me, I stood up, scoring in difficult conditions. The fact that I couldn’t do it, bothered me,” he added.
Asked by Dravid how difficult it was, Kohli said: “If I have to be brutally honest, it gets a bit difficult the moment you walk out of the hotel room, straight from the guy outside, to the guy in the elevator, the bus driver everyone says ‘we want a hundred’.
“So that’s on your mind all the time, but that’s also the beauty of playing so long for these complications to arise and overcome these challenges,” Kohli said.
King Kohli’s Top 10 Test Hits
During the 2nd test in Pune, Kohli was all over the Proteas. In the first inning, Kohli crushed 254* carries on 336 balls with 33 limits and a couple sixes. The 254* innings are still his highest score in Test matches. India won the game by one set and 137 runs and won the series 2-0.
Kohli was at his imperial best in 2016. Kohli was breaking records and setting new ones. One of his accomplishments came against the visiting England team. In the 4th test in Mumbai, Kohli made 235 runs on 340 balls with 25 limits and a six. He beat every English bowler out of bounds. India then scored 631 runs but it was enough for India to overthrow England as India won by one set and 36 runs. This shot will be remembered for his aggressive approach on a rotating track at Wankhede Stadium.
It was Kohli’s first double hundred in Test cricket against the West Indies. During the 1st test in Antigua, Kohli faced Gabriel, Roach and Brathwaite and attacked them. Kohli then scored 200 runs on 283 balls with 24 limits. India went to score 566-8 declared thanks to Kohli’s double ton and Ashwin’s heroic innings of 113. West Indies had no response to Indian bowling and lost the match by one inning and 92 runs. The rounds of 200 highlighted the class of the “King Kohli”.
King Kohli was everywhere among New Zealand bowlers during the 3rd Test in Indore. After the top order failed, Kohli kept shifting gears and scored a brilliant double hundred against the Kiwis. Kohli then scored 211 carries on 366 balls with 20 limits. India won the test match by a massive margin of 321 points and won the series 3-0.
This round would be highly valued in his fantastic career. It was not just a century but an emotion he wanted to flow on. In 2018, India under the leadership of Virat Kohli traveled to England. In the 1st Test at Edgbaston, India’s top order was rocked by youngster Sam Curran. Kohli entered the arena batting at No. 4. Kohli was slow to settle against arch-nemesis James Anderson. He continued the rotating strike and continued to touch his fifty years. Once he hit fifty, he attacked England’s bowlers and scored his first cent on English soil with a roar of emotion. Kohli then scored 149 carries on 225 balls with 22 limits and a six. Although India lost the test by 31 runs, it showed Indian cricket’s new intent on the tough ground.
Kohli had already scored a hundred in the first innings as captain. India needed 364 to chase in the second set. Kohli decided he would go for the target despite Australia’s good bowling. Kohli reduced the equation to 60 points and he scored one hundred. Kohli was fired by Lyon’ who saw the collapse and India lost the game by 48 points. Kohli scored 141 carries on 175 balls with 16 limits and a six.
With the streak on the line, Kohli proved to be a lone warrior in the 2nd Test against the Proteas. After the Higher Order collapsed, Kohli continued to attack Morkel, Philander and Ngidi in the harsh conditions of Centurion. Kohli scored 153 carries on 217 balls with 15 limits. Kohli’s run between the wickets was the highlight of the game. India then lost the game by 135 points. But with the same intention, India won the final test match in Johannesburg.
In the 3rd test, Kohli once again showed his aggressive approach on the bouncy MCG track. Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane, who also landed a hundred, built a strong partnership to get India back on track. But it was Kohli who tore Australia’s bowling roster apart. Kohli scored 169 carries on 272 balls with 18 limits. India then drew the test match. This match also marked the end of MS Dhoni’s Test career as a player and skipper.
On the tough Perth track, known for its pace and rebound, India contested the 2nd Test against the Australians with a 1-0 lead. After Australia scored 326 points in the first set, India’s top ranking once again collapsed with the likes of Starc and Hazlewood breathing fire. Kohli entered Perth’s new stadium and challenged Aussie bowling with his stylish covers and flicks, Kohli then scored a hundred on a tricky Perth lane. Kohli scored 123 runs on 257 balls with 13 limits and a six. Despite many efforts, India lost the match by 146 points but won the series for the first time in history under Kohli’s management.
On the green field of Eden Gardens where it was difficult to hit, during the 2nd leg of the 1st test against Sri Lanka, Kohli showed how to hit on these grasses. Kohli nearly played an ODI shot in Test cricket breaking the bounds and sixes. Kohli scored 104* carries on 119 balls with 12 limits and a few sixes. The match ended in a draw, but later India won the other two test matches.
Kohli dished out unusual innings of 364 balls, spanning over eight hours and 30 minutes. It was his 75th international century across formats.
Dravid said he was also desperate to see the former skipper score that big cent, but it was worth it as Kohli gave a masterclass.
“I’ve seen him as a player, I’ve seen hundreds of them on TV and after taking over coaching about 15-16 months ago I was a bit desperate to see him score a hundred goals. try and really appreciate it from the comfort of the dressing room
“To be able to enjoy and relax from a hundred tests. It was a beauty. You made me wait a long time but it was an absolute privilege to watch a run and the way you built it,” said David.
Prior to this game, Kohli’s last Test century had come in India’s first Day/Night Test against Bangladesh in November 2019.
Kohli insisted he was never “over milestones”.
“A lot of people ask me, ‘how do you keep scoring those hundreds’. And I always say a hundred is something that happens along the way in my goal, which is to beat as long as possible for my crew.”
Kohli credited his fitness for being able to hit in different ways that help him excel in all formats.
“I can beat four sessions, I can beat five sessions, that’s where fitness and physical preparation comes in for me.
“I go to the court relaxed because I know I can hit a lot of ways. I’m not desperate if I play three sessions and feel like I’m falling apart and have to make quick runs otherwise I won’t be able to stay out there for long,” he said.
“…..I’m pretty happy to score 30 points in a session and not hit a limit and not be desperate because I know the limits will come and even if I have to play like that I can hit six sessions and get a 150. I have no problem doing that.”
(With contributions from the agency)