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'Shocked' Kohli dedicates 71st ton to Anushka, daughter

Last updated on: September 08, 2022 23:25 IST

'Anushka has been by my side through all these times... time away from the game taught me lot of things.'

Virat Kohli kisses his ring after completing his 71st international ton in the Asia Cup match against Afghanistan on Thursday

IMAGE: Virat Kohli kisses his ring after completing his 71st international ton in the Asia Cup match against Afghanistan on Thursday. Photograph: ICC/Twitter

Virat Kohli reached the elusive three-figure mark after almost three years, albeit in a format "he least expected to", when he struck a memorable 122 against Afghanistan in an inconsequential Asia Cup match in Dubai on Thursday.


Kohli scored his first international hundred after 1021 days precisely to light-up the dead rubber. His 71st hundred also puts him alongside the great Ricky Ponting in the list of most centuries. Sachin Tendulkar is still way ahead with 100 international tons.

"Last two and a half years have taught me a lot. I am going to turn 34 in a month. So those angry celebrations are a thing of the past," said Kohli at the innings break.             

"Actually, I was shocked. This is the last format I thought. It was an accumulation of a lot of things. The team has been open and helpful."

Kohli credited his wife, actor Anushka Sharma for standing behind him like a rock during his turbulent times.

"I know there was a lot of stuff going outside. And I kissed my ring. You see me standing here because one person has put things in perspective for me. That's Anushka. This hundred is for her and for our little daughter Vamika as well. When you have someone next to you having conversations putting things in perspective, like Anushka has been... when I came back I was not desperate. Six weeks off, I was refreshed. I realised how tired I was mentally and physically.

"Your competitiveness doesn’t allow you to take that call, but I think it was a blessing in disguise for me. I wanted to be the best version of myself for the team, and when I came here, when I started playing in the nets, I felt like my old rhythm was coming back, it was just about getting those performances in the middle again."

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