Virat Kohli broke his drought of centuries, which went on for nearly three years, by incredibly scoring his first-ever T20I ton. In what was the format in which Kohli was arguably struggling the most, the former India captain smashed an unbeaten 122 off 61 balls. He thus played through the innings, having opened the batting with KL Rahul, and broke Rohit Sharma’s record for the highest score in a T20I by an Indian batter.
Kohli himself seemed surprised by that century and as he celebrated, the camera panned to an elderly fan who proceeded to bow down to the 33-year-old in the stands in Dubai. Kohli reached the three figure mark with a four and a six off back to back balls.
He smacked Fareed Ahmad straight down the ground for a four off the first ball of the 19th over and then hit a pull shot for a flat six over deep midwicket to get to the century. Kohli then hit back to back sixes and a four in the final over of the innings. He had opened the innings with KL Rahul, with regular captain and opener Rohit Sharma sitting out.
Kohli himself admitted that he is shocked that he broke the drought in T20Is of all formats. His floundering strike rate in recent months while playing for India and in the IPL had led to suggestions that Kohli could be dropped from the team for the T20 World Cup had he not performed well at the Asia Cup. “Actually I was shocked. This is the last format I thought. It was an accumulation of a lot of things. The team has been open and helpful. I know there was a lot of stuff going outside,” he said after his innings.
Kohli later said in the post-match presentation ceremony, where he won the player of the match award, that he didn’t want to prove anything to anyone. “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. 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 absolute 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,” he said. `
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