183 against Pakistan definitely stands out personally because that was kind of a revelation: Kohli

Reflecting on his memories from prior participation in Asia Cup, talismanic India batter Virat Kohli said his knock of 183 against Pakistan in the 2012 edition at Mirpur has stood out for him on a personal level as “that was kind of a revelation for him”.

In that match which also turned out to be Sachin Tendulkar’s final ODI game, Kohli slammed a career-best 183 off 143 balls, hitting 23 boundaries, for India to chase down 330 with 13 balls remaining.

Barely three weeks ago from the knock of 183, Kohli had hit an unbeaten 133 off 86 balls to lead India’s chase of 321 within 40 overs. These two knocks had firmly established Kohli as one of the best batters in ODI cricket.

“It (Asia Cup) has been a very special tournament personally for me. The first Asia Cup I was part of was in 2010, we won the final against Sri Lanka. Then in 2012 we couldn’t win as well as in 2014, but in 2016 we ended up winning; it was 20-20 after a very long time so Asia Cup for me always has been very memorable and yes, the 183 (against Pakistan) definitely stands out for me personally because that was kind of a revelation for me.”

“At 23 and I could play at that level, big game against Pakistan in a big chase and I kind of surprised myself and then from there my belief grew more and more and that was special to me and I remember quite fondly as against Pakistan and against Bangladesh, I got 49 on the very tricky pitch (in 2016, in T20I version of the tournament), so these are kind of games always stay in your memory,” said Kohli in a tell-all interview to Jatin Sapru on Star Sports on the eve of much-anticipated India-Pakistan match.

Sunday’s Asia Cup clash at Dubai International Stadium will see the resumption of the ‘greatest rivalry’ in the world of cricket when India and Pakistan open their Group A campaign. It will also mark Kohli’s 100th T20I appearance and his first international match since playing in the third ODI against England on July 17.

He will also become only the second male player after New Zealand’s Ross Taylor to clock a century of appearances in all three formats of international cricket. But Kohli sees reaching milestones like this are a reflection of him overcoming challenges and constantly evolving his game over the years.

“You see that the numbers in all three formats of the game are more than 100, but for me, the meaning of it is very different. It’s as you said longevity and keeping up with the demands of playing international cricket at the highest level. Apart from that, the consistency, challenges, constantly nurturing your game, improving it all the time and working on it. I think this is a reflection of how one wants to lead their life as well.”

“When you are improving, challenges come and you overcome those challenges. You feel the value of yourself as a person. I recently had said that it’s not a number, but the work put in behind the scenes, whose value I know very well because those moments of hard work are very personal moments. When you are sitting, you know what you are feeling, what challenges are there and how to overcome them.”

“So, when all of those accumulate and come upwards, then you understand that you can do it. Then you think that you are making maximum use of a wonderful opportunity which is playing cricket but life in general. You are progressing forward and that gives you more and more belief, gratitude, the satisfaction that you are doing something very productive with your life,” concluded the right-handed batter.




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