“Happy that in the World Cup year, I am able to start like this”

Virat Kohli has said that he’s pleased to begin 2023 on a highly impressive note, with the ODI World Cup in India later in the year. He also expressed confidence in continuing his brilliant batting form in the upcoming games.

Kohli hammered an unbeaten 166 off only 110 in the third ODI against Sri Lanka on Sunday, January 15, in Thiruvananthapuram. He was named Player of the Match for his brilliant knock as Team India registered a record triumph by 317 runs.

The 34-year-old also walked away with the Player of the Series award for being the leading run-getter. He smashed 283 runs in three matches at an average of 141.50 and a strike rate of 137.38.

Reflecting on his excellent batting efforts, Kohli told teammate Shubman Gill during an interaction on bcci.tv:

“It’s been a great start. As I told Surya (Suryakumar Yadav), it’s been a while since I started the year like this, with a hundred and getting two hundreds in a series and also becoming man of the series. So, I am just happy that in the World Cup year I am able to start like this. I know I can be consistent. When I start like this and start feeling confident, then things usually go well.”

Kohli continued:

“I am just happy from a team’s point of view that I was able to start like this and the team can really gel well as a batting unit. (To Shubman) You guys have been phenomenal at the top.”

Kohli and Gill added 131 runs for the second wicket in Thiruvananthapuram. The latter notched up his second ODI ton, scoring 116 off 97 with the aid of 14 fours and two sixes.

“I don’t have that desperation anymore to get to a milestone” – Virat Kohli

Before turning the tide, Kohli was without a three-figure score in a barren stretch that lasted over 1000 days. He took a break from the game after a forgettable tour of England and has been a different player since his comeback.

On how he engineered the dramatic turnaround, the former India captain said at the post-match conference on Sunday:

“Ever since I came back from that long break, I have been feeling very good about my game. I don’t have that desperation anymore to get to a milestone. For me, it’s just about enjoying my batting and helping the team as much as I can. I am just happy that I am able to do that and able to continue being in the space where I am relaxed. I am content with how I am playing, and that, for me, is the most important thing.

Kohli has registered three hundreds in his last four ODI innings. Before his knock on Sunday, he scored 113 off 87 in Guwahati. He also scored a ton in the third ODI during India’s tour of Bangladesh in Chattogram.

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Edited by Renin Wilben Albert

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