Virat Kohli smashed his 71st international century and his maiden T20I ton during India’s Asia Cup 2022 Super 4 match against Afghanistan on Thursday in Dubai. His unbeaten 61-ball 122 was the highest score by an Indian in T20Is as Kohli surpassed Rohit Sharma’s 118 against Sri Lanka in 2017.
“I feel very blessed, very grateful right now. The last 2-2.5 years have taught me a lot. I am going to turn 34 this November. These celebrations are all from the past. I’ve put a lot of things in perspective. Actually, I was a bit shocked because this was the format I least expected a century to come in anytime soon. But look, it’s all god’s blessing. I’ve been working hard. It was a moment that was very special for me and for the team as well,” Kohli said at the innings break.
“When you have someone next to you, having conversations, putting things in the right perspective like I have been and Anushka [Sharma] has been by my side through all these times... time away from the game has taught me a lot of things. When I came back I was not desperate. I was grateful for what God has blessed me with before. People were talking about me not getting a hundred. But I was looking at how much he’s given me already. So that really calmed me down. That relaxed me. I was just happy to come back. Six weeks off, I was refreshed. I realised after taking a break how tired I really was physically and mentally. Your competitiveness doesn’t allow you to take that call but I think it was a blessing in disguise for me. I wanted to be the best version of myself for the team and when I came here and batted in the nets, I felt my old rhythm coming back and it was just about getting those performances in the middle as well,” he added.
Kohli reached his hundred with a six off Fazalhaq Farooqi off the 53rd delivery of his innings. The 33-year-old is currently the leading run-scorer in the Asia Cup, with 276 runs in five innings.
Kohli became the fourth Indian after Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul to hit a hundred in all the three formats. Kohli also equalled Rohit and Rahul for the most hundreds in T20 cricket (six). He has five hundreds to his name in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Kohli’s last international hundred had come against Bangladesh in the pink-ball Test on November 23, 2019 in Kolkata.