Former India cricketer Gautam Gambhir has said that no other player in the Indian team would have survived without scoring a century for three years. Gambhir's comment came after Virat Kohli scored his maiden international hundred in nearly three years or over 1,000 days. Kohli slammed a century on Thursday against Afghanistan in the Super 4 game of the 2022 Asia Cup. Kohli scored an unbeaten 122 off just 61 balls as he registered his first ton for India in the shortest format.
After the game, Gambhir opined that no other player in the Indian dressing room would have survived without scoring a century in three years. He said players like Ravichandran Ashwin, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, and KL Rahul have been dropped, adding "I don't know one guy who hasn't been dropped after not having scored a hundred in three years." Kohli, however, has earned that because of his performances in the past, according to Gambhir.
"You have to realise that it is three years, not three months. Three years is a very long time. And I'm not trying to be critical of him but he has earned that just because he has got loads of runs in the past. But I don't think so that any of the younger batters would have survived in international cricket had they not got a hundred in last three years,” Gambhir said on Star Sports.
"Eventually it had to happen and it happened at the right time as well. You are just approaching the T20 World Cup and he's got a hundred so he has got the monkey off his back. But let's be fair and absolutely honest, I don't think anyone in the dressing room would have survived three years without a hundred. People like Ashwin, Rahane, Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul have been dropped. I don't know one guy who hasn't been dropped after not having scored a hundred in three years. It is only Virat Kohli and probably he has earned that," he added.
Interestingly, the century against Afghanistan on Thursday was Kohli's first in T20 Internationals and his 71st overall. With his 71st century, Kohli has now equalled the record of former Australian skipper Ricky Ponting's mark of 71 international centuries. Only Sachin Tendulkar (100) has more international centuries than Kohli and Ponting. Kohli reached the milestone of 71 international centuries in just 522 innings, which is the fastest amongst the three players.