IND vs SL: “I Just Wanted To Go At My Own Pace And Be Positive From The Outset” – Virat Kohli
Veteran Team India batter Virat Kohli started his ODI home season with a scintillating hundred against Sri Lanka in the series opener on Tuesday, January 10. The former captain made full use of the track to score his 45th ODI hundred, his first ODI century at home in almost four years as well, which helped India post a mammoth 373-7 in the first innings at the Barsapara Cricket Stadium in Guwahati as well.
With this, Kohli came after a 143-run opening stand between Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill. He started slowly but changed the gear soon after and reached the three-figure mark. He also surpassed Sachin Tendulkar for the most number of hundreds scored by an Indian batter against Sri Lanka as well. However, he got two lives after reaching fifty by Kusal Mendis and Dasun Shanaka, respectively and used the chances quite well. He eventually got out in the penultimate over to a slower delivery by Kasun Rajitha, finishing with 113 runs off 87 deliveries as well.
Speaking to the broadcaster during the mid-innings break, Virat Kohli said: “Not bad, I’ve had a bit of a break. Couple of practice sessions before this. I was mentally fresh after the Bangladesh tour where things didn’t go as well as I would have liked. I just wanted to go at my own pace and be positive from the outset. I had to bat through until the end.”
However, he thanked god for the dropped catches by Sri Lankan players throughout his innings. On that, Kohli added:
“Luck plays a big part” – Virat Kohli
“I would take those any day. Luck plays a big part. You just bow your head down and thank God on these kind of evenings. You tend to get frustrated when it doesn’t go your way but it’s important to remember these things as well. I could have got out for 50 odd. I’m just grateful and thankful that I was blessed with a little bit of luck today.”
Meanwhile, Virat Kohli got support from the other end, like Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul and Hardik Pandya, as his knock helped India cross the 350-run mark as well. Notably, Kohli did not look uncomfortable, especially during the latter part of his knock. He was taking two runs to keep the strike and carry on with the momentum as well. While talking about this, he credited the importance of diet and discipline at his age which helped him bat throughout the innings as well. Virat Kohli said:
“I think the diet is the most important part for me at my age. It’s about making sure you have the right nutrition, not just the weight and the fat percentage but being in control of what you eat. It allows me to put my best foot forward and give my 100 per cent for the team.”
He also recalled the ODI against the West Indies in 2018 at the same venue, where he and Rohit Sharma both scored centuries to help India scale down a 323-run target with eight overs in hand on the back of heavy dew as well.
“It’s important that we got 20-25 runs extra over 350. I think it was 330 odd that we were chasing (here in 2018) so we had to get those 40-45 runs extra. I remember Rohit batted through the innings that day. Someone will have to get a 150 and a 140 to chase this down. It’s also good for the bowlers to practice in these conditions, what areas you want to bowl with the dew. It’ll also give them confidence on how to bowl with the dew for a lesser score than today,” Virat Kohli concluded.