Virat Kohli registered his maiden T20I century during the Super Four encounter in the Asia Cup against Afghanistan on September 8, 2022. A huge monkey rode on the batsman’s back as the match-winning knock ended a 1021-day-long drought without a century. Kohli scored his 70th century during Team India’s first home pink-ball Test against Bangladesh at the Eden Gardens. No one had imagined that the 71st ton would take so long to arrive. The COVID-19 pandemic also played a role, but barring a few select occasions, Kohli looked far from reaching the three-figure figure in the three years.
2022 was a tough year for Kohli as it started with an average home season, followed by a dreadful England tour. He was not part of the Indian team that toured West Indies and Zimbabwe ahead of the Asia Cup and had taken a complete break from the game. He became the second-highest run-scorer in the tournament, even though India failed to make the final. It truly symbolized the re-emergence of batting brilliance and the century against Afghanistan was a major milestone to seal his dominance.
Under KL Rahul in the absence of Rohit Sharma in the dead-rubber contest, Kohli was promoted to the top order. He scored an unbeaten 122 off just 61 balls, which included 12 fours and six sixes, one of which helped him reach the three-figure mark. Mindful of the difference between his last two centuries, instead of celebrating wildly, he took off his helmet, spread his arms, and started laughing loudly while Rishabh Pant was at the other end.
Although he had achieved the historic feat several times during his IPL career, a T20I century had always eluded him.
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“I Batted Out Of My Skin, To Be Honest, And I Surprised Myself” – Virat Kohli
With Virat Kohli’s century, India, batting first, posted a huge score of 212-2 on the board, after which the bowlers continued their work. Led by Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s incredible figures of 5-4, the Men in Blue restricted Afghanistan to just 111-8, ending their Asia Cup 2022 campaign with a win. The former India captain was adjudged Player of the Match for his brilliant innings. He said during the post-match presentation:
“I batted out of my skin, to be honest, and I surprised myself. What surprised me was my 60s became failures; quite shocking for me, batting pretty well and contributing but doesn’t seem to be enough. I can’t really pinpoint anything to anyone as I said God has blessed me with good things in the past and that’s why I am in this position where these things can be spoken about.”