Dubai:- Former India captain Virat Kohli has asserted he has “come back to his template” following his blazing unbeaten century against Afghanistan in the Asia Cup Super-Four match at the Dubai International Stadium on Thursday evening.
Kohli, who had been battling poor form and was unable to score a century since November 2019, fired a warning to rival teams ahead of the ICC T20 World Cup in Australia in October-November, smashing a 61-ball unbeaten 122 as India defeated Afghanistan by 101 runs.
The 33-year-old, who scored his maiden T20I ton and 71st international century overall, said, “I’m happy, especially from the team’s point of view, that I am back to playing in my template, like I have played for a while, which I was going away from because I was desperate to do something which was not in my game but I’ve come back to my template.”
The batting stalwart added that if he gets into that zone, he has the capability to increase the scoring rate in 10-15 balls.
“My aim was, if I get into that zone and can remain relaxed in my space, then I can accelerate in the next 10-15 balls.”
India skipper Rohit Sharma, who did not play the Super-Four game against Afghanistan with the side being captained by KL Rahul, also complimented Kohli, saying his innings was a “perfect example of how you craft your innings”.
“In T20, we talk about big hitting and all of that. That (Kohli’s innings) was a perfect example of how you craft your innings without focusing too much on big hitting,” Sharma told BCCI.tv.
Kohli conceded big hitting was not his biggest strength, and that he banks on good cricketing shots and finding the gaps to build his innings.
“Definitely, my aim was always to play all three formats, so I just banked on good cricketing shots and I came to every tournament or series thinking that six hitting is not a big strength of mine. I can when the situation demands, but I’m better at finding gaps and hitting boundaries. So, as long as I can hit many boundaries, it will still serve the purpose for the team.
“And, I told the coaches, as well, that I’m going to try to hit the gaps in the field rather than thinking T20 cricket ‘mein strike rate uppar le jana hai toh haemin chakke hi marne parenge’ (If we need to ramp up the strike rate, then six-hitting is not the only option),” said Kohli.
Kohli said the key to his success following the month-long break from cricket was to remove the misconception that only big hitting can ramp up the scoring rate.
“So, I removed that from my system in this tournament and it helped me a lot. It helped me return to my template. But ultimately it’s all about being in a good space and enjoying your batting and you know, we can play in many ways. We’ve been playing for a long time and my role in the team is to take responsibility depending upon the situation. If the situation demands, I can take the scoring rate higher… I should be able to do that,” added Kohli.