Virat Kohli has been criticised for throwing away his wicket after getting good starts in the series so far. But on Saturday, he was a different batsman at the crease.
Showing sound temperament and application, Kohli exhibited his talent once again. It was an innings that he felt would help him get to the next level in Test cricket.
The Delhi-lad had captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni by his side and both curbed their attacking flair to take the team to safety. With the team at 87/4, they had to be judicious in their shot selection.
"It was challenging for both of us. It was a slow wicket, not easy to get the ball away. We had to show some patience and I just thought of applying myself and not think of anything else, just play six balls at a time, one over at a time, that is what we decided to do in the middle,” Kohli said at the post match press conference.
"It was all about just watching the ball and reacting to it rather than thinking about where we are going to be at the end of the day or at the end of the session.
"It is very rare that two new batsmen come in and string in a big partnership, it is always one batsman who is set and the other one comes in and you talk him through the partnership.
"It was really a different situation for me. I have always loved such challenging situations because I get to learn a lot from them.” "As much as I learn from these situations I will become a better player in the future.
It was pretty good to bat with MS Dhoni the whole day knowing the fact that we were four down early and we had to show some temperament which we did,” he said.
But both departed in the end. Dhoni was unfortunate to miss out on a truly deserving century as he was run out in the penultimate over. Having done the rescue job, Kohli said it was disappointing to see Dhoni getting out.
"He had worked hard the whole day. It was a very good thing for an attacking player to calm himself down so much and actually fight it out the whole day and play close to 260 balls.
"He got run out on 99 and it was disappointing for all of us to see. He deserved the hundred.” Kohli said his desperation to get runs in this series was proving to be a hurdle.
"This series has been challenging for us. Personally I was really eager to do well in this series so I probably got a little too desperate. That is not good for a batsman. You need to be hungry but you can’t get too desperate, and start putting pressure on yourself.”
"I am really pleased to have got this hundred because it was really important for me to get into that mindset I have been throughout this year and I am really feeling good now.” He said that the wicket had stayed the same and stroke-making was still difficult. "I think it was the same. It was just that kind of a wicket where you need to show patience.
"The wicket hasn’t changed much but I think the cracks are opening up slowly so you might see a completely different wicket tomorrow. The spinners might come into play bit more.”