'I wasn't happy...': Virat Kohli breaks silence on Test century drought, answering back critics with Ahmedabad ton
A week after that impressive ton, his 75th across format, Kohli broke his silence on the century drought and on answering back his critics in style.
Criticism had reached its peak last month, during the Border-Gavaskar Trophy series at home, when Virat Kohli had failed to convert his start, with few even going to the extent of questioning his place in the Test XI. But just like he broke his international century drought last September to silence critics, Kohli pulled off a similar in Ahmedabad with a stunning 186. A week after that impressive ton, his 75th across format, Kohli broke his silence on the century drought and on answering back his critics in style.
Kohli's last Test century before the match in Ahmedabad came at Eden Gardens in 2019 in the historic Pink Ball Test match against Bangladesh, where he had scored a match-winning 136. Kohli since then played 41 innings across 1205 days with five fifties, but the three-figure mark had eluded him. By March, few fans and veterans lost their patience as they raised question on Kohli's spot in the Indian Test side. But on March 13, Kohli silenced them all, with a remarkable knock in the 4th Test against Australia.
“So, when I made the hundred and converted it into a big one, that gave me a sense of calmness, relaxation, and excitement again,” Kohli told AB de Villiers on the latter’s YouTube channel.
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“You kind of become comfortable with your game, and your thinking, and your heart is not rising before the next practice session. You eventually want to be in such a space. And that particular hundred gave me a grounded feeling back. Just from a cricketing perspective. In life, I was pretty happy and relaxed. But when playing also, you want to be in that space as much as possible,” he added.
Kohli then opened up on his love for the red-ball format and why he wasn't satisfied with even his half-century knocks during that period of century drought.
“I and AB have been in touch for a while and he knows how much I value Test cricket. Even though, I had performed in T20Is again and scored ODI centuries and all that stuff, I always felt that white-ball cricket, for me, was more of a thing where if you go in with the right frame of mind on a particular day or for a certain period of time, you can get past the hurdles.
“But even though we played the Test on a wicket that is not offering too much to the bowlers, you still have to bat for good 7-8 hours sometimes, because they (Australia) are that patient with their fields and they could go defensive. It was just testing me constantly. That is something that I have always cherished as a cricketer.
“I was getting decent scores, but if you ask me if I was happy with what I was doing. I wasn’t. I pride myself in performing for the team to the best of my ability, I certainly wasn’t doing that enough. I wanted to score big runs, that’s something that always propelled me, whether it was at home or away. I was doing that to a certain extent. But I was not having the same kind of impact that I had before,” he added.