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Not in a space to go out and prove people wrong: Kohli

Last updated on 13 Mar 2023 | 10:49 AM
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Not in a space to go out and prove people wrong: Kohli

Virat Kohli stood out in the Ahmedabad Test with a batting masterclass, scoring a 186 in India’s first innings

September 08, 2022 was a day of relief for the Indian fans, with Virat Kohli finally breaking a three-year-old century drought with a well-timed hundred against Afghanistan in the Asia Cup. Since then, Kohli hasn’t looked back, with three centuries in the 50-over format, one against Bangladesh and two against Sri Lanka later to kick-off 2023. 

There was still that one format, the ultimate format as Kohli himself has said in the past where he hadn’t scored a century in nearly four years. But a placid surface and a tired Australian bowling unit provided Kohli with the opportunity to break that drought and he did that with some elance. The right-hander played the long waiting game, and had a lot stretch of play where there wasn’t a single boundary. 

But the knock showed how Kohli trusted his defence, came down the track to utilise his feet and focused on maintaining his shape. That was something that the former Indian skipper was guilty of not doing in the first three Tests.  

“I felt I was batting well from the first innings at Nagpur. We focussed on batting for long. I did that to an extent but not to the capability that I have done in the past. Was a little disappointed for that,” Kohli admitted in the post-match presentation. 

Batting an illness, the right-hander was at his fluent best in earning his wealth back: form. Axar Patel after the fourth day’s play admitted that he was pretty ‘shocked’ to hear that Kohli was batting with an illness. Despite that, Kohli ran 84 singles, 18 doubles and two threes during his 364-ball stay at the crease. The 34-year-old said that it was a ‘relief’ for him to play in his own way. 

Fascinatingly, the right-hander absorbed the initial pressure thrown at him, and ended up throwing back so much pressure on Australia that they had to set a field where all the fielders were at the deep, something that isn't associated a lot with Test cricket. 

“To be honest, the expectations I have from myself as a player is more to important to me. Relief from the point of view that I could play the way I wanted to play. I was happy with my defence. I am not in a space now where I will go out and prove someone wrong,” Kohli added.

There was a big bone of contention from the fans perspective, why were India not playing for a result. Kohli said that injury to Shreyas Iyer ultimately tied their hands, and hence the batting approach that they adopted. 

“I also need to justify why I am there on the field. When I was 60 not out, we decided to play positively. But we lost Shreyas thanks to injury. So, we decided to play time. They were good with the ball and placed some good fields. We got a bit of a lead and gave ourselves some sort of a chance.”

With New Zealand's win over Sri Lanka, it was confirmed that India and Australia would be the two finalists of this edition of the World Test Championship (WTC) cycle. 

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