Australia legend Mark Waugh’s remarks on Virat Kohli following the India talisman’s 28th Test hundred against the Steve Smith-led side in Ahmedabad have raised eyebrows.

“The drought’s over. The gates have opened,” Mark Waugh said on Fox Sports. “You could tell right from the get-go he meant business. He played very few risky shots. He was so patient, just picked the bowling off.”

Unlike other former cricketers who suggested that Virat Kohli was back to his best in red-ball cricket, Mark Waugh said India’s batting mainstay was yet to reach his top gear.

According to Mark Waugh, Virat Kohli was far from his best and would need more time to get where he was from 2016 to 2019.

“I don’t think he’s at his pure best at the moment, as far as his Test career is concerned … but it just shows you his class,” he stated.

On Sunday, the premier India batter broke a series of records en route to his 28th Test century against Australia in the fourth Test in Ahmedabad.

Among the multiple feats Virat Kohli achieved in Ahmedabad was becoming the quickest to complete 11,000 international runs at home.

Virat Kohli also matched former India captain Sunil Gavaskar’s landmark the legendary batsman achieved four decades ago.

Virat Kohli was playing in his 50th Test on home soil, and he celebrated the occasion with a hundred. In 1983, Sunil Gavaskar made a century when he featured in his 50th Test match in Indian conditions against West Indies at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium in Delhi.

The ton against Australia in Ahmedabad was his 8th hundred in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, joint-second most by any batter from the two countries. While Sachin Tendulkar has nine centuries, Ricky Ponting and Steve Smith have scored eight centuries each.

It was Virat Kohli’s first Test hundred since November 2019, thus ending a 1,204 days wait for a century in the five-day format of the sport.

Moreover, it was his first century in red-ball cricket after 41 innings – his longest drought in Test matches. During this phase, Virat Kohli went without a ton in 23 games.

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It was also his second Test hundred against Australia at home, following his 107 in Chennai in 2013.

Throughout his knock, Virat Kohli looked in complete command – at the start of his innings, the 34-year-old was solid in defense and milked the Australian bowlers for ones and twos.

Virat Kohli, known for his aggressive brand of cricket in white-ball cricket, turned into a grinder as the Delhi-born cricketer struck only five boundaries during his first hundred runs at the Narendra Modi Stadium.

After bringing up his 75th century in Gujarat during the weekend, he raised the level of his game and was looking good for a double-hundred. But Kohli lost his wicket while attempting an attacking shot off Todd Murphy.

Virat Kohli was the last Indian batter to get out for a score of 186, with the hosts putting 571/9 on the board. Shreyas Iyer didn’t bat in India’s first innings due to back spasms and underwent scans in the hospital.

Meanwhile, India head coach Rahul Dravid claimed the people of India have similar expectations from Virat Kohli as they had from Sachin Tendulkar when the Little Master was playing.

“In India when you become a player as big as Virat Kohli, people have such high expectations. When I played and used to bat with Sachin Tendulkar, I saw the same. Everyone wants him to score a century, score runs. And this happens because he has set a standard. He has scored centuries so regularly that people don’t realise how tough it is to score a hundred. And then obviously, the pressure builds,” Rahul Dravid told Star Sports.

“A player of Kohli’s calibre wants to contribute, stay involved. He looks at it in a way ‘How can I contribute? What can I do to win the match for India?’ And somewhere he must have felt that I am not able to give that world-class performance in Test matches which the team has become habitual of,” he pointed out.

“If young kids are watching – we keep talking and sometimes as coach, we get frustrated too – I hear a lot that ‘this is my style and I’m only going to play like this’. In this match a big player has shown that if the situation is tough and the team is slightly on the defensive, the opposition is not giving you boundaries, you can play differently and still score a century for the team.”

“He scored just five fours in his first 100 runs. He could have gotten frustrated – felt I will smash, dominate – but he knew what the team needed in that situation. This is a special trait of a big player. Doesn’t matter how great a player you are, you need to have humility, the will to,” Rahul Dravid concluded.

On the other hand, Virat Kohli revealed that he was desperate to get the monkey off his back in Test cricket, as it has been nearly four years since he last made a century in the five-day format.

“To be honest, I’ve led the complications to grow on me a little bit because of my own shortcomings. I think the desperation to get the 3-figure mark is something that can grow on you as a batsman. We’ve all experienced that at some stage or the other. I think I led that happen to me to a certain extent,” Virat Kohli told head coach Rahul Dravid in a BCCI video.

“But also the flip side to it is that I am not a guy who is happy with 40 or 45 runs. I am someone who always takes pride in performing for the team. It’s not like Virat Kohli should stand out. When I am batting on 40, I know I can get a 150 here and that will help my team. That was eating me up a lot. Why am I not able to get that big score for the team because I always took the pride in performing for the team when it needed me, in difficult conditions and difficult situations,” he added.

“The fact that I wasn’t able to do that did bother me. Not so much the milestone as such as I don’t play for it. A lot of people ask me this question, ‘how do you keep scoring a hundred?’. I always told them, a hundred is something that happens along the way within my goal which is to bat as long as possible for the team and get as many runs as possible. So, the milestone is never my focus. But yes, I have to be brutally honest, I does become a little complicated because the moment you step out of the hotel room, right from the guy outside the room to the guy in the lift to the bus driver, everyone is saying we want a hundred. So, it’s like, it does play on your mind,” Virat Kohli asserted.