Former India captain Virat Kohli admitted that he was distressed for not being able to get big scores for the team in Test cricket over the last three years, adding that he was yearning to get to the three-figure mark.
The star batter broke his century drought in Test cricket in Ahmedabad Test, scoring 186 runs off 364 deliveries, his first century in the format since November 2019 and 28th in the longest format of the game. The century in Ahmedabad came after a gap of 41 innings from his last century that came against Bangladesh in November 2019.
In conversation with head coach Rahul Dravid, the former captain revealed what was going through his mind when he wasn’t scoring a hundred.
“To be honest, I let the complications grow on me a little bit because of my own shortcomings. The desperation to get that three-figure mark is something that can grow on you as a batsman. We have all experienced that at some stage or the other. I let that happen to me to a certain extent,” Kohli said in a video posted on bcci.tv.
“The flip side to it is I am not a guy who is happy with 40 and 45s. I’ve always been someone who takes a lot of pride in performing for the team. It’s not like Virat Kohli should stand out. When I am batting on 40, I know I can get a 150 here and that will help my team.”
That was eating me up a lot. Why am I not able to get that big score for the team? I always took pride in the fact that when the team needed me, I would step up and perform in different conditions in difficult situations. The fact that I wasn’t able to do that was something that was bothering me,” he added.
The right-hander further said that for him centuries are just a part of the process of getting as many runs as possible for the team adding that achieving milestones was never his focus.
Kohli now has 75 international tons across three international formats and sits second on the list of batters with the most international hundreds.
“I never played for milestones. A lot of people ask me – how do you keep scoring hundreds? I always told them that a hundred is something that happens along the way within my goal, which is to bat as long as possible for the team and get as many runs as possible for the team. So, the milestone is never my focus.
It was never about the milestones. A lot of people ask me, ‘how do you keep scoring those hundreds’. And I always say a hundred is something that happens along the way within my goal, which is to bat as long as possible for my team,” he said.
But yeah, if I have to be brutally honest, it does become a little difficult as the moment you step out of the hotel room, right from the guy outside, to the guy in the lift, the bus driver everyone is saying ‘we want a hundred’. So, it does play on your mind all the time but that’s also the beauty of playing for so long to have these complications come up and overcome these challenges,” he added.
The 35-year-old also feels that the hundred came at the right time, just before the WTC final, which is scheduled to take place at the Oval on June 7.
“I am happy that it happened at the right time, before the World Test Championship final. I’ll definitely be going there as a very relaxed and very excited man,” Kohli said.