'That was eating me up a lot' - Virat Kohli opens up to Rahul Dravid after ending his century drought in Tests

India head coach Rahul Dravid and former captain Virat Kohli have a conversation after the end of the fourth Test against Australia.

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Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli. (Photo Source: BCCI)

When Virat Kohli played a delivery of Nathan Lyon on the leg side and took a single, even before he reached halfway through the other end, the fans at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad erupted in joy.

The people on social media started drafting tweets about Virat Kohli's Test hundred, which finally landed on the timeline. Kohli's celebration surprised many; he quietly took off his helmet, kissed his engagement ring dangling from a locket, and raised his bat. After a wait of 1205 days, 24 Tests and 42 innings for a hundred in the toughest format of the game, he finally got the opportunity to celebrate the moment.

When a player like Virat Kohli does not score a century in Test cricket for more than three years and the average drops to below 50, with only six half-centuries in 24 Tests since December 2019, it becomes almost impossible to endure. A '600kg gorilla is off his back now', said former Indian head coach Ravi Shastri when Kohli reached the century on Day 4 of the fourth Test against Australia.

Kohli's massive 186-run knock also made sure that India surpassed Australia's first innings total of 480 and took a lead to put pressure back on them. After the fourth Test ended in a draw with India winning the Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2-1 for the fourth time in a row, India head coach Rahul Dravid asked Kohli about the century drought in Tests coming to an end.

Rahul Dravid engages with Kohli in fun interaction

"I know you are someone who takes a lot of pride in his performance and has that habit of scoring 100 regularly. I know there was COVID, so, not a lot of Test matches but has it been hard not to have scored a Test hundred (for this long)? I know we get a little obsessed with numbers. I've loved seeing some of the other innings. Even the 70 in Cape Town was a really good innings. But has (not scoring a hundred) been at the back of your mind?," Dravid asked Kohli on BCCI.tv.

A conversation full of calmness, respect & inspiration written all over it! 😊 πŸ™Œ A special post series-win chat with #TeamIndia Head Coach Rahul Dravid & @imVkohli at the Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad πŸ‘ πŸ‘ - By @RajalArora FULL INTERVIEW πŸ”½ #INDvAUS bit.ly/3ZQCJDC
09:31 AM Β· Mar 14, 2023

Kohli acknowledeged of being bothered by the feeling of not scoring a ton for all this while and also admitted that scoring 40-45 never satitate his hunger.

"Honestly, I've let the complications grow on me a bit because of my shortcomings. The desperation to get to the three-figure mark is something that can grow on you as a batsman. I let that happen to me to a certain extent. But a flip side to it is, I'm not a guy who is happy with 40-45. I take a lot of pride in performing for the team. It's not like when Virat Kohli should stand out.

When I'm batting on 40, I know I can get a 150. That was eating me up a lot. Why am I not able to get that big score for the team? Because I took pride in the fact that when the team needed me, I stood up, scoring in difficult conditions. The fact that I wasn't able to do that, was bothering me," Virat replied.

Kohli also opened up on how it becomes difficult as a player to deliver under pressure for an extended period of time.

"It was never about the milestones. A lot of people ask me, 'how do you keep scoring those hundreds'. And I always say a hundred is something that happens along the way within my goal, which is to bat as long as possible for my team. But yeah, if I'm brutally honest, it does become a little difficult as the moment you step out of the hotel room, right from the guy outside, to the guy in the lift, the bus driver everyone is saying 'we want a hundred'.

So, it does play on your mind all the time but that's also the beauty of playing for so long to have these complications come up and overcome these challenges," Kohli added.

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