Virat Kohli should return to confrontational mode, that’s when he plays his best cricket: Scott Styris

Former New Zealand all-rounder Scott Styris said he is genuinely intrigued to observe whether Virat Kohli will return to confrontational and aggressive mode after having gotten the monkey off his back with his 71st international hundred in India’s final Asia Cup 2022 match against Afghanistan.

Scott Styris said Virat Kohli’s approach has mellowed down and he has been able to observe a more calm person with the way Kohli also spoke about his maiden T20I hundred on Thursday, September 9. However, Styris said he is looking forward to seeing Kohli return to the ‘in-your-face’ mode, which he believes brings the best out of the former captain.

Virat Kohli ended a nearly 3-year-wait for his 71st international hundred and the 3-figure score, as conceded by the man himself, got the hundred in the format he least expected – T20is. Kohli hit 122 not out in just 61 balls, smashing 6 sixes and 12 boundaries. Kohli finished Asia Cup 2022 as India’s leading run-getter with 276 runs, including 2 fifties and a century.

“It’s the mindset I am looking forward to seeing as well in Kohli. You can tell when he got that hundred against Afghanistan, there was huge relief on him. He got the monkey off the back and he has been very thankful and blessed. Does he carry on with that mindset?

“I have been waiting to see him get back to that abrasive and really aggressive, in the face of the opposition mindset. I want to see him go back to that mode. That’s when he has played his best cricket.

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“Now that he has gotten the hundred, does he look to be confrontational against the likes of Starc, Cummins and others? Or is he going to go back to ‘I am happy to be here and get out in the middle and I will just show you how good I am?’. I am fascinated by this,” Scott Styris told Star Sports on the day of the Asia Cup final.

Kohli has been speaking about his relaxed approach to the game and how the break he took before the Asia Cup 2022 campaign helped him put things into perspective. Kohli said he is grateful for whatever he has been able to achieve so far in his glittering campaign and that he would look to enjoy his game for the remainder of his career.

When Kohli got to his 71st international hundred, there were no animated celebrations. It was just a look of surprise on his face and acknowledgment to the fans who cheered him on Thursday.

Kohli himself explained that he was not looking to celebrate his century in an aggressive manner, saying he has grown beyond that phase of his career.

Meanwhile, former India head coach Ravi Shastri said Virat Kohli has finally been able to rediscover the rhythm with which he wanted to play T20I cricket even as India are approaching the format in a more aggressive manner, especially in the powerplay.

“I think the good thing that he realised from Asia Cup is that he needn’t be in a hurry because he is such a good runner between the wickets. When the game plan of the team is to smack it in the powerplay, you don’t have to hit every ball to a boundary or a six.

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“He is one of the few players in this Indian team who can run 2s, who can run 3s. He can run the quick single, be busy and still maintain a good strike rate,” Shastri said.

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