“Frustration started creeping in…”: Virat Kohli on how he overcame his lean patch

"Frustration started creeping in...": Virat Kohli on how he overcame his lean patch
"Frustration started creeping in...": Virat Kohli on how he overcame his lean patch

Former India captain Virat Kohli opened up on expectations during his lean run-in international cricket, saying that during that phase he had to be true to himself even if he was vulnerable despite the frustration that started creeping in for him. Heroics by star batter Virat Kohli and ‘Jammu Express’ Umran Malik outpowered a fighting century by skipper Dasun Shanaka as India defeated Sri Lanka by 67 runs in the first ODI of three-match series at Guwahati on Tuesday.

Kohli slammed his 45th ODI century and, overall, his 73rd in international cricket, on Tuesday. The batter accomplished the landmark during India’s first ODI against Sri Lanka at Barsapara Cricket Stadium in Guwahati.

Kohli admitted that frustration had set in while he was experiencing a slump, as cricket was not allowing him to perform in the manner that he desired.

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“But when it dips a little, in my case, frustration started creeping in. Because I wanted to play in the same fashion and people have this expectation, so I play like this, I should play like this, I will have to play like this. But cricket didn’t allow me to play in that fashion. It was a different time for me. And because of that, where my game was, it was very far away. Because my desires and attachments had totally taken over,” Kohli told Suryakumar Yadav in a video posted by BCCI.

Kohli went on to add it was when he understood he couldn’t avoid being himself and that he had to be true to himself and not be in denial.

“That’s when I realized I can’t be away from who I am. I have to be true to myself. Even when I am vulnerable and not playing well, I’m the worst player around, I have to accept it. I can’t be in denial. Because in denial, in my case, a lot of frustration was creeping in and I was getting very cranky, and very snappy in my space, which wasn’t good at all. I did not feel it was fair on anyone around me. Anushka, my close ones. It is not fair to the people that support you and are with you all the time to keep seeing you in that space. I had to take responsibility and put things in perspective,” the former India skipper added.

Praising Suryakumar’s knock, Kohli said, “Well, I said this in the post-match presentation as well. Sometimes what happens is people look at you differently. Now, when Surya goes out to play, people think Surya will do it. Keeping up with that is a very intense process. And sometimes what happens is, when you’re playing cricket well, your form is good, all those things flow well.”

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According to the star batter, his ambitions and attachments had taken over at the time, and his game was extremely far away.

“After that, when I came back relaxed for the Asia Cup, I started enjoying practice. I started enjoying training again. Which is how I have always played my cricket. What I will say is that if you feel a little bit of desperation, always take two steps back, rather than pushing more and more. Because then things will start to go away from you,” said Kohli.

Virat’s 45th ODI ton is his 20th ODI ton on home soil. The knock saw him equal the world record of batting legend Sachin Tendulkar of the most centuries in his home country. Both batters now have 20 hundred each in home conditions. Virat took only 99 to accomplish this while Sachin did so in 160 innings.

Virat also surpassed Sachin’s record of most ODI hundreds against Sri Lanka by an Indian batter. He has nine centuries against Sri Lanka, as compared to eight by Sachin against the island nation. Virat also has nine ODI tons against West Indies and eight against Australia.


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