IND vs WI Test 2023: Virat Kohli, who hit a polished 121 in 206 balls, ended his five-year-long drought for an international Test century outside India
Virat Kohli (Pic: AFP)
Hours after equalling Sir Don Bradman's record of 29 Test centuries in India's commendable first innings score of 438, Indian batting mainstay Virat Kohli feels "charged up" when faced with an adverse situation. He added that it was extremely "satisfying" to get his 29th Test hundred during the ongoing second match against West Indies as he had to "do the hard yards".
The 34-year-old Kohli, who hit a polished 121 in 206 balls, ended his five-year-long drought for an international Test century outside India. He scored his last ton in 2018.
"I really enjoyed myself out there. I was in the rhythm, I wanted to be in. Started in challenging times. I switch on during these times. When I have something to overcome, I get charged up," Kohli said after the end of day 2.
"I had to be patient as the outfield was slow. It was very satisfying as I had to do the hard yards."
India were reduced to 182 for four when Kohli and Ravindra Jadeja joined hands, stitching a 159-run partnership to rescue the team on day 2.
It was Kohli's 76th hundred in 500 international appearances. He surpassed Sachin Tendular's record of 74 international hundreds in first 500 matches.
"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.
"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."
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One of the fittest athletes in the world, Kohli said focusing on his diet and body helped him immensely.
"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."
For Kohli, it was only his second ton in the Caribbean Islands with his first converted into a double hundred back in 2016 in North Sound.
"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 favourite venues in the Caribbean.
"Adelaide in Australia and The Bullring in South Africa are my favourites as well, purely because of the atmosphere."
West Indies were 86 for one and Kohli said India will 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.
(With agency inputs)