File photo of Virat Kohli© AFP
India batter Virat Kohli finally got the monkey of his back as he registered his first international hundred after almost a gap of three years. However, the ton came in the format, no one would have thought of. Kohli registered his first T20I ton on Thursday against Afghanistan in the Super 4 clash of the ongoing Asia Cup. The batter’s celebration after bringing up the landmark was a proof that he was himself relieved to score a ton after so long. However, former India batter Gautam Gambhir has said that no one would have survived without scoring a hundred for three years and it was Virat who survived because of the amount of runs he has scored in the past.
“You have to realise that it is three years, not three months. Three years is a very long time. And I’m not trying to be critical of him but he has earned that just because he has got loads of runs in the past. But I don’t think so that any of the younger batters would have survived in international cricket had they not got a hundred in last three years,” Gambhir said on Star Sports after the game between India and Afghanistan.
“Eventually it had to happen and it happened at the right time as well. You are just approaching the T20 World Cup and he’s got a hundred so he has got the monkey off his back. But let’s be fair and absolutely honest, I don’t think any one in the dressing room would have survived three years without a hundred. People like Ashwin, Rahane, Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul have been dropped. I don’t know one guy who hasn’t been dropped after not having scored a hundred in three years. It is only Virat Kohli and probably he has earned that,” he added.
India captain Rohit Sharma opted to rest in their final Asia Cup Super 4 match against Afghanistan, but Virat Kohli, opening the batting in his absence, smashed his 71st international century and his first in T20Is.
Kohli went on to hit an unbeaten 122 off 61 deliveries as India romped to a 101-run win in Dubai.
While Kohli had 27 Test centuries and 43 in ODIs, he had never scored a T20I ton before Thursday.
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