Virat Kohli dedicates 71st international century to Anushka, Vamika
- Kohli ended a wait of 1,020 days to score a century for India
- He scored a 61-ball 122 against Afghanistan in Asia Cup
- Kohli now holds the record for the highest T20I score by an Indian
Virat Kohli on Thursday dedicated his 71st international century to his wife Anushka Sharma and daughter Vamika.
Kohli ended his wait of 1,020 days to score an international century and he did it in style. He struck six sixes and 12 fours in his knock of 122 off 61 deliveries, which was also his maiden hundred in the T20Is for India.
The 33-year-old star clinched the milestone during India's final Asia Cup 2022 fixture on Thursday against Afghanistan in front of an electric Dubai International Stadium crowd.
During the innings break, an emotional Kohli said that it was Anushka, who helped him put things into perspective as he took a brief break in the lead-up to the Asia Cup after a chaotic career phase in which he went through a comprehensive lean patch and stepped down as India captain across all formats of the game.
"I know there was a lot of stuff going on on the outside but they really kept my perspective right and I kissed my ring in the celebrations as well. You see me standing like this right now and all the things being put in perspective have been done by one person, who stood by me through all these difficult times that is Anushka.
"This hundred is specially dedicated to her and our little daughter Vamika as well. When you have someone next to you, having conversations, putting the things in the right perspective as I have been and Anushka has been by my side through this time, time away from the game has thought me a lot of things," said Kohli, who now has the joint-second most international centuries.
The hundred on Thursday took Kohli's international centuries tally to 71 as he equalled Australia great Ricky Ponting. With 100 tons, only Sachin Tendulkar has more centuries than Kohli and Ponting.
Kohli had last scored an international century back in 2019 during India's home pink-ball Test against Bangladesh at Eden Gardens, Kolkata.
Virat Kohli: The last 2 and a half years have taught me a lot
The former captain had a muted celebration after reaching his 71st century.
Speaking about the same, Kohli said, "Feel very blessed, very grateful right now. The last two and half years have taught me a lot, I am going to turn 34 in November, so the celebrations are for the past.
"I have put a lot of things into perspective. I was a bit shocked as this was the format I least expected for a century to come any time soon. It is all God's blessing, I have been working hard and this was just a moment that was very special for me and the team as well. It was an accumulation of a lot of things."
Meanwhile, Kohli also became only the second batsman, after Rohit Sharma, to score 3,500 or more runs in the T20Is. Kohli now has 3,584 runs in 104 T20Is to his name, while the leading run-scorer in the T20Is, Rohit Sharma, has scored 3,620 runs in 136 T20Is.