It was only four months ago that Virat Kohli was in the midst of a three-year run in which he’d failed to register a single century but as the famous saying goes, when it rains, it pours. Kohli broke the century drought in September last year, against Afghanistan in the Asia Cup, and since then the 34-year-old has struck 4 tons in 22 innings across formats.
The fourth of those tons came at the Greenfield International Stadium in Thiruvananthapuram today and it was a record-breaking knock in every sense as Kohli not only ended up posting his highest ever ODI score (166*) in home conditions, but also overtook Sachin Tendulkar’s tally of 20 to become the batter with the most ODI tons at home in the format’s history.
Named Man of the Series for his efforts (283 runs @ 141.50), Kohli credited the headspace he currently finds himself in for his success. Desperation to get to milestones, Kohli said, hindered him during the century-drought, something he revealed he’s managed to shed completely.
“Ever since I came back from the long break, I have been feeling good. I don't have that desperation to get to a milestone,” Kohli said at the post-match presentation.
“I am just enjoying my batting, being in a space where I can relax. Today as well, I was just happy to be out there batting. I am in a nice space right now and want this to continue.”
The Player of the Series award was Kohli’s 9th in ODIs, to go along with 30 Player of the Match awards. When asked if he was aware about these numbers, Kohli revealed that all the awards he’s collected in his career are a mere byproduct of his hunger and determination to give the absolute best for his country everytime he steps on to the field.
“I have no idea (about the awards). For me, it's just a byproduct of the intent I have, mindset that I play with. Mindset is always to help the team win, bat for as long as possible and if you do that, you end up making a difference.
“I have always played for the right reasons, help the team as much as possible. It is just intent, playing for the right reasons.”
While Kohli dominated with the bat in Thiruvananthapuram, his RCB teammate Mohammed Siraj, for the third game running, ravaged the Lankans with the ball.
Siraj entered the third ODI as the highest wicket-taker in the series and at the Greenfield Stadium, he created daylight between himself and the rest by picking four wickets. All four of Siraj’s wickets came in the powerplay and it was his burst which enabled the hosts to register the biggest margin of victory in ODI history.
Kohli was full of praise for Siraj and claimed that the 28-year-old’s emergence bodes well for the side in a World Cup year.
“Shami has always been there for us but the way Siraj has come up has been outstanding. He has taken the maximum number of wickets in the powerplay, which was an issue for us early. He is always making the batters think, which is a great sign for us going into the World Cup,” Kohli said.