Guwahati, January 11
A remarkably frank Virat Kohli admitted being in complete denial about his “vulnerabilities” and “frustrations” during his poor run of form, which in turn also made him “cranky” and “snappy” with his family and friends.
Kohli smashed his 45th ODI hundred, an 87-ball 113, to guide India to a 67-run win over Sri Lanka in the opening game of the three-match series on Tuesday.
The 34-year-old batter had also scored 113 against Bangladesh in his final ODI of 2022 and now has 73 international hundreds, with the last three coming in a space of four months after a near three-year lull.
“In my case, in denial, frustration was creeping in. I was very cranky, very snappy in my space. It was not fair on (wife) Anushka (Sharma), my closed ones, it’s not fair on the people who support you,” Kohli told teammate Suryakumar Yadav during a chat recorded for the website of the Indian cricket board. “So I had to take responsibility and kind of put things in perspective.”
Kohli reiterated the need to be away from his primary passion in order to rekindle it and feel hungry once again.
“I was far off from my cricket. My attachments, my desire, had totally taken over. That’s when I realised that I can’t be away from who I am. I have to be true to myself. Even when I am vulnerable, I am not playing well, I am the worst player around, I have to accept it. I can’t be in denial,” Kohli said, accepting his frailties.
In fact, he had a word of advice for Yadav, who is in the form of his life as far as T20Is are concerned.
“Sometimes what happens, you (Surya) will also experience it as you play more and more now, people look at you differently. When Surya goes out to play, people will say that Surya will do it. To keep up with it is an intense process,” he said.
A player realises the downside only when the form goes away, and Kohli knows it all too well.
“When your cricket is going well, all these things flow well but whenever there is a slight dip, in my case, frustration started creeping in because I wanted to play in a certain way but my cricket was not allowing me to play like before,” he said.
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