SPORTS

Only A Runout Could Switch Off India’s Star Batter Virat Kholi 

India’s star batter Virat Kholi was in command performance on a slow pitch in the second Test against the West Indies at the Queens Park Oval in Trinidad and Tobago.  

Playing in his 500th international match, Kohli struck a century on day 2 of the Test with a boundary off Shannon Gabriel’s bowling in the 91st over of the day. It was the right-handed batter’s first overseas Test hundred in five years, having previously done so in December 2018.  

The former captain told reporters after his breathtaking innings that he enjoyed himself at the wicket.  

“I really enjoyed myself out there. I was in the rhythm I wanted to be in. Started off in challenging times. I switch on during these times. When I have something to overcome, I get charged up. I had to be patient as the outfield was slow. It was very satisfying as I had to do the hard yards. I have got 15 centuries away from home. I have got few fifty plus scores.”  

Kholi was making his 76th hundred in 500 international appearances, thus surpassing Sachin Tendulkar’s record of 74 international hundreds in his first 500 matches.  

The prolific run scorer noted that helping his team win matches is his quest, and statistics are more meaningful when that happens. 

“Firstly, very grateful I got to play 500 games for India. I have got 15 centuries away from home, I have got more hundreds away than at home. I have got a few fifty-plus scores,” Kohli said.  

“I just have to focus on what I have to do for the team. I try to help the team. These stats and milestones mean something to me when the team needs me.  

He also noted the history between both teams and was proud of chalking up another century against the Caribbean side.  

“West Indies and India go a long way. It is a special occasion for me. Couldn’t have asked for a better beginning to the Test.”  

Kholi attributed his cricket performances to his diet and fitness.  

“I looked after myself. Training, sleep cycle, rest, and diet. Converting 1 into 2s is an easy run for me. It helps me to stay off the pressure.  

“Fitness helps me in all formats. I can field with intensity in all formats. I want to keep playing at the top of my fitness ability.”  

The Indian batter was making his second ton against the Windies, with his first converted into a double hundred back in 2016 at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in North Sound, Antigua.  

“There is a sense of history to this ground, you can sense it when you walk in. The crowd loves their cricket here. I always enjoyed the atmosphere. Antigua and here are my two favorite venues in the Caribbean.”  

“Adelaide in Australia and The Bullring in South Africa are my favorites as well, purely because of the atmosphere.”  

West Indies were 86 for one, and Kohli said India would have to keep it tight to get wickets.  

“The wicket is slow. Wickets in bunches won’t come. If we can stay in the game and put the scoring rate down, hopefully, we can get a few wickets.”  

India won the opening Test by an innings and 141 runs to go 1-0 up in the two-match series. 

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Readers Bureau, Contributor 

 Edited by Jesus Chan 

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