India captain Rohit Sharma chose to rest in their final Asia Cup Super 4 game against Afghanistan but Virat Kohli, who opened the at bat in his absence, crushed his 71st international century and his first in T20Is. Kohli went on to go on to an unbeaten 122 from 61 deliveries as India headed for a 101 point win in Dubai. After the game, Kohli was interviewed by Rohit and he opened his innings, eventually ending a century of drought that lasted nearly three years.
Watch: Rohit Sharma interviews Virat Kohli
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“It was a very special day for us. As a team we had talked after the last game that it matters what kind of attitude we play this game with. Because this tournament was important to us. We got exposure to knockout stages, we became exposed to pressure, but we all know what our goal is. It’s the World Cup in Australia and for that we are improving and we will learn from the games we lost,” Kohli told Rohit.
“Personally, not just today, but from the moment I got back to the team I got a big break and quite a few things came into perspective. And from you and the management the communication was clear – just letting me bat. That was very important to me. The space I got from all of you really helped me relax through that whole phase. And when I came back I was excited about how I could contribute to the team,” he added . .
“I wanted to play like that because there’s a big World Cup coming up, and if I play like that, I’ll contribute more,” he said.
Kohli also admitted that he was “pleasantly surprised” to get a century in the T20 format after such a long time.
While Kohli had 27 Test centuries and 43 ODIs, he had never scored a T20I ton before Thursday.
Kohli also spoke to the new India captain about how he had tried to slog more which was not his natural game, and going back to playing his shots and finding holes helped him regain his touch.
He also praised KL Rahul for his fine half-century and said it was critical for the team that Rahul also enter the World Cup in a “good space”.
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