"Abhi bhi thoda cricket baaki hain (there's still some cricket left in me)," Virat Kohli said to Indian pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar after scoring a brilliant ton against Afghanistan on Thursday (September 8).
Kohli scored a 61-ball 122 to take India to 212/2 against Afghanistan in Asia Cup in Dubai. It took 1019 days for Kohli to go from 70 to 71st international century. His previous ton came on November 24, 2019 in the day-night Test against Bangladesh in Kolkata.
— BCCI (@BCCI) September 8, 2022
Vintage Virat: Asked to open the innings with KL Rahul in the absence of Rohit Sharma, Kohli looked in complete focus and control throughout the innings. He dominated the Afghan pacers driving them all around the ground. Against the spinners, he used his feet a lot and stepped out to play some big shots. He also played a sweep shot, which we have hardly ever seen him play.
Looked like he loved opening the innings too and had 119-run opening stand with KL Rahul off 76 balls. He went berserk in the last five overs and reached his century in style hitting a boundary and a six. Kohli ended the innings smashing two sixes and a four off Fazalhaq Farooqi to push India past 200.
Nearing Sachin Tendulkar's record: With this ton, Kohli equalled Ricky Ponting’s tally of international hundreds. Now he is just behind Sachin Tendulkar in the all-time list of international centuries.
The numbers: Kohli's 71 international tons include 27 in Tests, 43 in ODIs and just one in the T20I format.
Kohli feels blessed: After India won the match by 101 runs to end their Asia Cup campaign, Kohli said he feels very blessed and grateful. "Last two and a half years have taught me a lot. I’m going to turn 34 in November, so celebrations are all from the past," Kohli said.
Kohli said he was shocked that the century finally came in the T20 format. "I have put a lot of things in perspective and, actually I was a bit shocked because this was the format I least expected a century to come any time soon, but it’s all God’s blessings, I have been working hard and this was just a moment which was very special for me and the team as well," ICC quoted him as saying.