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I was waiting for this innings: Virat Kohli

Nagpur: Virat Kohli’s abilities in the shorter version of the game is undisputed. Doubts, though, existed over his capabilities as a batsman in the longer format, despite the 116 in Adelaide.

However, Saturday’s 103 on a tricky wicket, on the third day of the fourth and final Test, highlighted Kohli’s mental toughness and the ability to pull the team out of trouble.

Irrespective of his performance in this series, the knock showed that Kohli is on his way to becoming India’s man for the future.

“I was waiting for this innings, as I really want to excel in the longer format. I had been working hard for the past one month. You can’t keep performing every time as there will be ups and downs.

“However, you need to remain positive. That’s what I did,” Kohli said at the post-match media conference.

Kohli also underlined that he was backing himself to come good despite the recent failures.

“I got out in the 20s thrice. I got a good delivery in Ahmedabad. The next matches, though, didn’t go too well. But having said that, I was not doubting myself at all. I wasn’t thinking about what people were saying about me.

“I put my foot in the pedal, here, and things worked out for me. In cricket, you will definitely get the results if you keep working hard,” he added.

The 24-year-old further highlighted the importance of this innings as he was quite eager to perform against a quality-side like England.

“It was a very important innings. Against New Zealand, I was in a good mindset as I was able to get good scores straightaway. Personally, I was eager to do well in this series. Probably, I got a bit too desperate (to perform).”

Kohli pointed out a different kind of situation that he faced in the course of his 198-run stand with captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

“I feel it’s rare when two (relatively) new batsmen arrive at the crease and stitch a long partnership. Honestly, it was a different situation...

“However, I can also learn a lot from these situations. I love them since they can help in turning me into an even better cricketer,” he emphasised.

On Dhoni’s dismissal, he said: “It was very disappointing that he missed out on a century... To get out on 99 was heartbreaking.”

Talking about his 198-run stand with Dhoni, Kohli said: “It was a challenging task for both of us. The wicket was slow and it wasn’t easy to get the ball away. So we had to be patient and take one over at a time.”