‘Abhi hain cricket baki’ (Cricket is still left in me): Virat Kohli to Bhuvneshwar Kumar during innings break

There was a big sigh of relief on Virat Kohli’s face after he recorded his first international hundred in nearly three years against Afghanistan on Thursday. There was no angry celebration, he was all smiles after reaching the landmark in the 19th over.

Kohli, who made his last international century in November 2019 during a test match against Bangladesh, hit a blistering unbeaten 122 off just 61 balls.

The entire dressing room applauded as he walked to the dressing room. Kohli has been in red-hot form in the ongoing tournament after taking a six-week break from the game. Kohli completed the much-awaited 71st international hundred, putting him level with Ricky Ponting for the second-most international hundreds after Sachin Tendulkar, who has 100.

While Indian cricketer and team members were congratulating Kohli for his excellent knock, he had a small conversation with pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar, which suggests how important this century was for the 33-year-old.

“Abhi hain cricket baki (cricket is still left in me),” Kohli can be heard saying to Bhuvneshwar Kumar at the boundary line.

Afghanistan were blown away by a top-class spell of swing bowling from Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who ended up with career-best figures of five wickets for four runs in four overs. With the conditions aiding his strength, Bhuvneshwar got the ball to move both ways at will, leaving the opposition in shambles at 21 for six. Their innings ended at 111 for eight in 20 overs.

However, the night belonged to Kohli who warmed a billion hearts with special innings.

A relaxed Kohli went on to speak about the challenges during the century drought, a period that lasted more than 1000 days. Kohli dedicated his century to his wife Anushka Sharma.

“This hundred is for her and for our little daughter Vamika as well,” he said. “Six weeks off (and) I was refreshed. I realized how tired I was. Competitiveness doesn’t allow it, but this break allowed me to enjoy the game again.”

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