Virat Kohli was adjusted Player of the Match in the 5th match of the Asia Cup 2022 Super 4s that was played between KL Rahul-led India National Cricket Team and Mohammad Nabi-led Afghanistan National Cricket at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Thursday, September 8.
Losing the toss and batting first, Team India were able to post 212/2 on the board, courtesy of modern-day batting great Virat Kohli’s remarkable century and KL Rahul’s brilliant half-century.
Virat Kohli completed his half-century off 32 balls and KL Rahul reached his half-century off 36 balls. Rahul scored 62 runs off 41 balls, including 6 fours and 2 sixes, before getting out.
On the other hand, Kohli remained unbeaten and smashed a sensational century, which is his maiden T20I century. He dominated the Afghanistan bowlers and scored unbeaten 122 runs off 61 balls, including 12 fours and 6 sixes.
Defending the target, Bhuvneshwar Kumar demolished the Afghanistan batting unit and finished his spell with the bowling figures of 4-1-4-5.
After being restricted to 21/6, Afghanistan batters fought well and made a decent comeback. However, they were restricted to 111/8 in their 20 overs. Ibrahim Zadran top-scored for the side with unbeaten 64 runs in his bag.
Grateful for how the day went today – Virat Kohli
During the post-match presentation ceremony after winning the Player of the Match award, Kohli said that his time away from the game gave him a chance to sit back and observe a lot of things about himself. He said
“Firstly I am grateful for how the day went today. Time away from the game gave me a good chance to sit back and observe a lot of things about me.”
He further credited his wife Anushka Sharma and said that she stood by his side through the tough times and gave him the right kind of guidance. Kohli said:
“I mentioned one special person – Anushka – who stood by me through these tough times and I mentioned her as she has seen the absolute raw side of me throughout all these months. She was the one putting things in perspective for me, kept giving me the right kind of guidance, and vision moving forward and I came back into the system as a relaxed person.”
Former India National Cricket Team captain Virat Kohli further said:
“It was just about enjoying the game, understanding the game and what God blessed you with. Today was the build of the last few games, I batted out of my skin, to be honest, and I surprised myself.
“What surprised me was my 60s became failures; quite shocking for me, batting pretty well and contributing but doesn’t seem to be enough. I can’t really pinpoint anything to anyone as I said God has blessed me with good things in the past and that’s why I am in this position where these things can be spoken about. I have absolutely 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 and excited.”
While talking about team management, Virat Kohli said that the team environment kept him relaxed and they asked him to play his natural game. He said:
“The team environment has had great communication with me, kept me relaxed and kept my perspective right. When I came back there was not much information coming my way, they just said bat and it was a matter of getting into the space of enjoyment.”
Virat Kohli signed off by talking about the suggestions he received from several cricket pundits during his rough patch. He said:
“I have had many suggestions, a lot of advice has come my way; people were telling me I was doing this wrong, that wrong, I picked out all the videos from the best time I had; same initial movement, same approach towards the ball and it was just what was happening inside my head I wasn’t able to explain it to anyone. At the end of the day you know as an individual where you stand, people will have their opinions but they cannot feel what you are feeling. I am very grateful for that time and needed it to change my perspective.”
Kohli, who scored an international century after 1020 days, has become the fastest player in history to score 71 international centuries as he achieved this milestone in 522 innings. He has also become the fastest player to reach the 24,000 runs milestone in international cricket.
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