Kohli kiss
Virat Kohli celebrates after scoring his century against Australia in Ahmedabad on Sunday. Image Credit: AFP

Dubai: Records might not be the sole focus of a sportsman, but certainly it adds spice to the daily rigours one has to go through, that is laced with pleasure and pain depending on the outcome of the contest. Virat Kohli is one individual who has set himself lofty standards and was able to stay in that zone for a very long time. But without a Test century for a couple of years, it was becoming unbearable for the talismanic Indian batter.

“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,” Kohli revealed what was going through his mind during a conversation with head coach Rahul Dravid in a video posted on bcci.tv

Complications and challenges

“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 star batter broke his century drought in Test cricket in Ahmedabad Test, scoring 186 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.

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Talismanic Indian batter Virat Kohli plays a flick off his bips during his century against Australia. Image Credit: ANI

Big targets

“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,” added the former Indian captain, who.

“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.”

What is Kohli’s lucky charm?
If you wonder what is the lucky charm that Virat Kohli kisses after scoring his century, it is his engagement ring. The former Indian captain wears it as a pendant on his chain while batting and the tradition of kissing the ring began when he scored a roaring century during the second Test against South Africa at Centurion in 2018. Kohli continued with the tradition to dedicate his century to his wife Anushka Sharma after ending a long drought during the Ahmedabad Test against Australia on Sunday. He pulled out the ring dangling around his neck to blow a kiss, which should have been a huge relief as it is coming after a long time.

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.

Perfect timing

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 a very excited man,” Kohli said.

— With inputs from IANS