Before the Asia Cup 2022, questions were raised over Virat Kohli’s place in the Indian team as he was enduring a prolonged lean patch. However, the star batter silenced his critics by finishing the six-team competition as the second highest run-getter with 276 runs to his name from five innings.
During the tournament, Virat also ended his much-talked-about century drought as he slammed 122* off 61 balls in India’s last Super-4 clash against Afghanistan.
After regaining his form, Kohli started dominating bowling attacks all over again. He had a great time in the 2022 T20 World Cup Down Under, emerging as the top run-getter with 296 runs at a staggering average of 98.66 and at a decent strike rate of 136.40, including a memorable 53-ball 82* against Pakistan in India's opening fixture.
Kohli then extended his brilliant form to ODIs as he smashed a century on the tour of Bangladesh last December and a couple more hundreds in the home series against Sri Lanka earlier this year.
In the just-concluded Border-Gavaskar Trophy against Australia, Virat Kohli broke a 1205-day drought without a Test century when he hit a superb 186 in the drawn final match of the series. Overall, he now has 75 international centuries to his name and only the legendary Sachin Tendulkar is ahead of him with 100 international hundreds.
After the end of the India-Australia Test series, India head coach Rahul Dravid spoke about Kohli while talking to the broadcasters.
"In India when you become a player as big as Virat Kohli, people have such high expectations. When I played and used to bat with Sachin Tendulkar, I saw the same. Everyone wants him to score a century, score runs. And this happens because he has set a standard. He has scored centuries so regularly that people don't realise how tough it is to score a hundred. And then obviously, the pressure builds," Dravid stated.
"A player of Kohli's calibre wants to contribute, stay involved. He looks at it in a way 'How can I contribute? What can I do to win the match for India?' And somewhere he must have felt that I am not able to give that world-class performance in Test matches which the team has become habitual of."
The highlight of Kohli’s knock in the Ahmedabad Test was the application he showed to overcome the tough time. The former India skipper scored his runs off 364 balls and had hit just five boundaries by the time he reached his century.
"If young kids are watching - we keep talking and sometimes as coach, we get frustrated too - I hear a lot that 'this is my style and I'm only going to play like this'. In this match a big player has shown that if the situation is tough and the team is slightly on the defensive, the opposition is not giving you boundaries, you can play differently and still score a century for the team," Dravid pointed out.
"He scored just five fours in his first 100 runs. He could have gotten frustrated - felt I will smash, dominate - but he knew what the team needed in that situation. This is a special trait of a big player. Doesn't matter how great a player you are, you need to have humility, the will to."
(Hindustan Times Inputs)