ipl match – Pacific Rim – ‘King is back’: cricketers hail Kohli masterclass

NEW DELHI: India’s Virat Kohli won praise from the cricketing world on Monday after his third One-day International century in four matches silenced critics doubting his place in the team.

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Kohli, 34, smashed an unbeaten 166 to lead India to the biggest-ever ODI win by 317 runs against Sri Lanka on Sunday, his 46th ODI ton and 74th in all formats.

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Kohli went through an extended lean patch last year, failing to reach three figures in over 1,000 days. He quit as T20 skipper in late 2021 and in January 2022 was sacked from the ODI captaincy and gave up leading the Test side too.

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“King Kohli” last week spoke again about his mental struggles during his dry phase, including how he had been “snappy” around his Bollywood actress wife Anushka Sharma.

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“In my case, in denial, frustration was creeping in. I was very cranky, very snappy in my space,” Kohli told the Indian cricket board’s website bcci.tv. “It was not fair on Anushka, my close ones, it’s not fair on the people who support you. So I had to take responsibility and kind of put things in perspective.”

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Veteran commentator Harsha Bhogle said, “the king is back to doing what he does best, scoring hundreds”.

Kohli’s long-time IPL friend and former team-mate at Royal Challengers Bangalore AB de Villiers tweeted: “Virat Kohli! Different level.”

Sri Lanka batsman Angelo Mathews called Kohli a “modern great” and Pakistan wicket-keeper/batsman Kamran Akmal said “he is the boss of this era”.

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