There was no hype, no excitement, no tension or joy of watching the game except the players had to drag themselves to the ground and play a customary consolation game between India and Afghanistan, both of whom have been kicked off the Asia Cup 2022 due to their back-to-back defeats to the hands of the finalists, Sri Lanka and Pakistan.
Perhaps, those 1000 odd people who had a walk at the Dubai International Stadium for some fun and enjoyment might be feeling themselves quite the luckiest ones around the globe. I wonder if the management didn’t think of giving a break to most of the players in the game; well, certainly the Indians did.
His Hard days was others sweet times- His set benchmark:
I know it sounds a bit harsh to talk about someone who already had gone pass the 99-mark in International cricket for 70 times before but all the pressure he was on in the restaurants, clubs, airports, hotels and all just made it something else.
If you are a number’s person, then that’s for you- 1020 days which is being divided into 2 years 9 months 16 days or 33 months 16 days or 145 weeks and 5 days- That was the time frame in between Kohli was century less since he got the last one against Bangladesh in 2019 at the Eden Gardens.
However, what was supreme that even in his hard time, in his 72 games and 83 innings, he scored 2708 runs at an average of 36.10 at a strike rate of 73.24 with 26 half centuries at a best of unbeaten 94 being unbeaten for eight times. Well, if you still haven’t realized I am talking about Virat Kohli, as I haven’t actually taken his name, then you can move to your own job; it’s not for you for sure.
The moment of comeback that all want to frame:
From the 15th over of the innings, people slowly but steadily began to anticipated something special was upcoming but again the clouds of disappointment were looming over their head given his 26 missed chances before for the smile and celebration all want to capture. But then hope is something we can do even in a country that’s not free; I suppose.
Kohli smashed two finest of boundaries in the 18th over against Fazalhaq Farooqi in some fashion but the way he charged for the single on the last ball of the over to keep the single did raise the belief that he is too smelling the special number. Well, the first ball was smacked straight besides the bowler for a boundary and the speed was to the point that even the long-on fielder who was just seven feet away from it could hardly move.
The luckiest persons saw that live- are you in that zone?
One shot was required, the crowds were getting higher and louder; people in the bus was turning their phone on their way back to home; All of those who were enjoying the game in the digital version was getting ready to screenshot something extra ordinary; few unlucky people who for certain reason kept their television off was rushing towards the remote and me? Well, I am a lazy guy; I was just laying down on the couch but I too all on a sudden turned the camera. Oopps!! I forgot to describe the main man, Virat Kohli who looked in zero pressure.
The short ball was punched over the vacuum deep mid-wicket region as the ball flew over the rope for a maximum; ahh! I thought some gritty and gusty celebration from Kohli but he looked relieved and calm in nature. Taking his helmet off, he bowed down to celebrate the milestone- his 72nd International century and his first in the T20Is along with his four for the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB).
Kohli hugged his batting partner Rishabh Pant before kissing his locket as the fireworks go up in India and lights took him to the center at the ring of fire. Well, he didn’t stop until finishing on unbeaten 122 in 61 balls with 12 boundaries and six over boundaries; one thing that was unnoticed was his fitness and how he ran those two even after batting for the whole 20 overs in those humid conditions.
If you think he didn’t come to the field, then you have no knowledge on his fitness; he came to the field from the first over of their bowling and even grabbed an excellent catch in the slips.
Kohli: Time away from the game taught me a lot:
It wasn’t long when he stated how he was being put down by the mental health and how was too needed some time off the game to refresh and recharge himself to squeeze up the best of him.
“Time away from the game gave me a good chance to sit back and observe a lot of things about me.” Mentioned Kohli at the end of the game when he was adjusted the player of the match award.
“You see me standing he re because one person has put things in perspective for me. That’s Anushka (Sharma)”. Kohli spoke about in the middle of his innings with the host broadcasters, “This hundred is for her and for our littler daughter Vamika as well; I have been working hard and it was just a moment which was very special to me and the whole team.”
He went on to add how he has changed himself and his approach. “I understood how tired I was mentally and physically; your competitiveness doesn’t allow you to take the call but I wanted to be the best version of myself for the team.”
You love numbers and stats? This section is for you:
With this 71st century for Virat Kohli in International Cricket across formats; he now has 27 Test centuries 43 ODI centuries and one lone T20I century with which he sits in the same bench with Australian great Ricky Ponting and is only behind his idol Sachin Tendulkar.
With six centuries in this format, Kohli joins Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul in the list of highest centuries in T20s by Indians. He also becomes just the fourth Indian player after KL Rahul, Suresh Raina and Rohit Sharma to record a century in all the three formats.
122* by him is also the highest individual score for any Indian player to score in T20Is and his hundred is also the first century conceded by Afghanistan surpassing 99* by Luke Wright in 2012. He also becomes the first Indian batter to outscore the opposition team’s total.
There was close neck-to-neck fight even between the broadcasters of who will hold up the rights of the Kohli century. Undoubtedly, the monkey which have probably transformed into a giant has finally left out Kohli’s back. Well, the wait of 72 begins!! Too greedy we are the Kohli fans!!