On Thursday, Virat Kohli smashed his 71st international century and broke his lean patch over the last two and a half years. With this, he equalled Ricky Ponting’s tally as well. However, he reached the triple-figures with a big pull shot off Fareed Ahmed that went to the deep midwicket boundary as well. However, KL Rahul explained how Kohli’s mindset hasn’t wavered even in troubled times too.
“I think that celebration was more a relief,” KL Rahul, his skipper on the night, said in the post-match press conference. “There was no difference to his mindset, attitude and work-ethic in the last 2-3 years, or before that when he used to score 100s every second game. There’s been no difference in the way he prepares for the game, or the attitude towards representing the country and winning matches for his team. The desire and the passion he’s had has always remained the same.”
Rahul also explained how Virat Kohli’s ability to remain in the moment and show a lot of patience – especially through the tough time, which was a learning for the team as well and Thursday’s result that came after a long wait wasn’t surprising for them as well.
“I think we’re also very obsessed with numbers – only if centuries are being hit, a batter is considered to be in form – but his contributions in the last 2-3 years were phenomenal. He’s still the top-2 or top-3 run-getters in white-ball cricket in the last two or three years. As a player, you always want to be perfect or challenge yourself. You run behind excellence. He’s always been that player. Even during this [lean] phase, he’s remained in the moment, he’s worked hard on his game, he’s remained patient – and that’s been a big learning for us in the group that these ups and downs are a part of every player’s career and how you remain balanced in your mindset, how you can focus on what’s in front of you today,” KL Rahul stated.
“I think he’s done that [focus on simple things] brilliantly over the last couple of years and in that dressing room none of us are surprised with what he’s done. I am sure this will give him even more confidence – not that he needed confidence, but he will obviously cherish this 100 and it’ll build great confidence around the group as well,” KL Rahul again shared.
KL Rahul has also said that everything is fine with the captain Rohit Sharma, Yuzvendra Chahal and Hardik Pandya, who were rested in the last game. He also opened up about his workload too. He also opined on Team India’s performance as well.
Rahul said, “For me, the workload is not a huge issue. I am coming back after being away from the game for two months or so. It is about getting more games, more game time. Only that can make me feel good about my game, my batting and my body. It is important that I play more games before we go to Australia. We have a couple of more series and it would be more important to spend more time in the middle.”
“As a team, we are always trying to get better in every aspect. Individually also we spend a lot of time with coaches, trying to see things we need to get better at, skills we need to have. We try to practice that and execute that in the middle. There is nothing like a perfect team, it is about getting the job done. Rohit talks about getting the job done as well. We are on that path, we will make mistakes and this tournament was good learning for us. We were challenged and wanted to challenge ourselves by batting first since batting second wins more games as per stats,” KL Rahul concluded.