Virat Kohli // Getty
Virat Kohli // Getty

Virat Kohli smashed a century for the first time since 2019 as he opened the innings in the game against Afghanistan in the 2022 Asia Cup on Thursday. Team India’s star batter Virat Kohli made a sensational return to run-scoring in the 2022 Asia Cup.

Virat Kohli, who was on over a month-long break from the game following an extended patch of low-scoring games, smashed a century and two half-centuries in five matches of the continental tournament this year. By the end of India’s campaign in the edition, Virat Kohli remains the highest run-getter in the tournament.

Virat Kohli | Photo Credit: AP
Virat Kohli | Photo Credit: AP

Virat Kohli Scored 71st Ton And 1st In T20Is Against Afghanistan

On Thursday, Virat Kohli opened the innings alongside KL Rahul in the absence of skipper Rohit Sharma, who was rested for the game. The former Indian captain forged a 119-run stand for the opening wicket alongside the stand-in skipper KL Rahul and reached his century in the 19th over of the Indian innings with a six.

KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma---Image: Twitter
KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma—Image: Twitter

Virat Kohli eventually remained unbeaten on 122 off just 61 deliveries, breaking the record for the highest individual score by an Indian in a T20I inning (previously held by Rohit Sharma). Incidentally, skipper Rohit Sharma opted for a rest in the inconsequential T20I against Afghanistan in Asia Cup 2022.

The modern-day batting great finally smashed a century in international after 1020 days. This was his 71st international century and now he has joint-second-most centuries in the history of the game. This was his first T20I ton. Virat Kohli has now become the 4th Indian batter to smash a century in all three formats of the game after Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma, and KL Rahul.

Virat Kohli Opened Only Because Regular Opener Rohit Sharma Wasn’t Playing: Virender Sehwag

Following the game, the 33-year-old batter was lauded for his long-awaited ton; there were also discussions over his potential batting position, with a number of fans suggesting that India might just opt for Virat Kohli for the opening role. However, former Indian opener Virender Sehwag doesn’t agree.

During an extensive discussion over Virat Kohli’s knock in the game against Afghanistan, Virender Sehwag insisted that a single innings cannot possibly be the reason for the shift in the position altogether.

Virender Sehwag recalled Rahul Dravid’s unbeaten 128 while opening with Virender Sehwag in a 400-run partnership and felt that by such logic, Rahul Dravid could have also been an opener and Sachin Tendulkar could have opened in Tests as well.

“No. By this logic, even Rahul Dravid could have been in the opener. Sachin Tendulkar could have opened in Tests as well. They have also played big knocks in 1-2 innings as openers.

“I guess Dravid even scored some 160-170 runs and had remained unbeaten when we forged a 400-run partnership for the opening wicket in a Test,” Virender Sehwag said. “It was just because the captain wasn’t playing, that’s why Kohli opened,” he further stated.

Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar And Virat Kohli PUNIT PARANJPE / AFP
Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar And Virat Kohli PUNIT PARANJPE / AFP

Virender Sehwag also made a massive claim on Virat Kohli’s form, insisting that the batter could now reach 100 international tons, now that he has got the monkey off his back.

“Now that he has scored a century, I won’t be surprised if this stops at 100 (international centuries). Then, we will see when he gets his 101st,” Sehwag said.

Virat Kohli scored 122 runs off 61 balls, including 12 fours and 6 sixes, and he batted with a strike rate of 200. In the process, Virat Kohli became the highest run-getter in the ongoing Asia Cup 2022.

He has scored 276 runs in 5 T20Is averaging a high 92 after scoring 35, 59*, 60, 0, and 122, but can’t add more runs as India is knocked out of Asia Cup 2022. Prior to this ton, Virat Kohli’s last Test century was in 2019 at Eden Gardens against Bangladesh, and his last ODI century came in August 2019 at Queen’s Park Oval against West Indies.