Star India batsman Virat Kohli says the break after the Bangladesh tour has helped him a lot in re-energising himself and getting back in top form in ODI cricket. Kohli’s comments came after winning the Player of the Series award in India’s 3-0 win over Sri Lanka in their first ODI series of the 2023 World Cup year. Scored 283 runs in 2 matches, including 2 centuries in the series against Sri Lanka.
Kohli started the year with a knock of 113 in the first ODI against Sri Lanka in Guwahati after he was not selected for the first T20I series in January. The former captain was dismissed for 4 in the second ODI, but bounced back to score an unbeaten 166 in the series finale, which was also his second highest ODI score. Kohli has scored 3 ODI centuries in his last 4 innings since he hit a purple patch in the World Cup year. Kohli ended his 3-year wait for an ODI hundred on the tour of Bangladesh in December 2022 and since then there has been no looking back.
Kohli brought up his 46th ODI century and more importantly hit 13 fours and 8 sixes, the most in an innings, against Sri Lanka at Thiruvananthapuram. Kohli scored an unbeaten 166 and hit his last 65 runs in just 35 balls as India posted a mammoth 390 for 5 in 50 overs.
He said, ‘I have no idea (about the Player of the Series awards). For me, it’s just a product of my intention, a mindset I play with. The mindset is always to help the team win, bat for as long as possible and if you do that, you make a difference. I have always played for the right reasons, help the team as much as I can. It’s just intent, playing for the right reasons.
Average: 141.50@imVkohli He was named Player of the Series after scoring 166* in the final ODI.
– Star Sports (@StarSportsIndia) January 15, 2023
“Ever since I have come back from the long break, I am feeling good. I don’t have that desperation to get to a milestone. I am just enjoying my batting, at a place where I can relax. Even today (Sunday), I was happy to bat out there. I am in a good position now and want it to continue.
Kohli made more than two hundred stands, one with Shubman Gill, who scored 116 off 97 balls, his second ODI century. He then shared a 100 plus partnership with Shreyas Iyer who scored 38 runs.
Kohli took it upon himself to score big in the death overs and displayed his power-hitting game while sending a stern warning to his rivals ahead of the ODI World Cup in October-November. Kohli also praised Mohammad Siraj, who took 4/32 after a brilliant spell with the new ball. Siraj topped the wicket-taker’s list in the ODI series, taking 9 wickets in 3 matches.
“Shami has always been there for us but the way Siraj has come in is fantastic. He has taken the most wickets in the powerplay, which was an issue for us initially. He always makes the batsmen think, which augurs well for us going into the World Cup.
India next take on New Zealand in a 3-match ODI series at home from January 18.