Kolkata, Nov 20 (IANS) Fifty international hundreds in 10 years of top flight cricket have not in any way diminished India skipper Virat Kohlis hunger for runs, and he feels it is not a “long journey yet”.
In fact, the talismanic batsman is still all geared up to “step up and perform”.
“(It) feels good. It hasn’t been a long journey yet. If I can step up and perform, that will give me more pleasure than thinking of the number of hundreds I have. That will remain the mindset till I play this game,” Kohli said on Monday after reaching the landmark against Sri Lanka on the final day of the opening Test at the Eden Gardens here.
The 29-year old Kohli scripted an authoritative 104 not out in the second essay to pull India out of initial trouble to a position where his bowlers could make a match of it.
His efforts nearly succeeded, as Sri Lanka barely staved off defeat, finishing at 75 for seven when poor light prompted the umpires to call off the game.
Interestingly, the Delhi batter had struck his first international hundred at the same ground and against the same opposition in a 50-over game in 2009.
The Indian skipper said he was proud the way his boys finished the game after being on the backfoot on day one and two.
India had finished on 17/3 and 74/5 respectively in their first knock on the rain-truncated first two days.
“The conditions changed drastically over the five days. We had to show character, having been on the backfoot on day one and day two,” he said.
Asked whether India were under pressure after losing four wickets in the final morning session, Kohli replied in the negative.
“We didn’t look at the batting collapse. We believed in our strengths. If you didn’t have intent on this wicket, it would’ve been difficult to survive. That was the key.”
On his decision to go after the Sri Lankan bowling, Kohli said: “As soon as we lost Wriddhi (Wriddhiman Saha), me and Bhuvneshwar (Kumar) started having fun. It was important to take our minds of the situation and the shots started coming off.
“Luckily they took the new ball. I decided, if we don’t show intent, there may not be much to offer. So yeah, that helped.”
Kohli said when Sri Lanka came out to bat in the second innings, the Indians had a positive mindset.
“If we got enough good balls in the right areas, it would’ve been tough. All in all, we’re proud of how we finished,” he said.
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