From L to R: Virat Kohli bats, celebrates and hugs Shreyas Iyer after scoring century during the final ODI match in Thiruvananthapuram, India, on Sunday. AP
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.
The former captain ended last year with an ODI century against Bangladesh and began 2023 with another 113 in the Sri Lanka opener to announce his return as a run machine in style.
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.
"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.
"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."
But he hit his first century after 1020 days in the Asia Cup Twenty20 tournament in September last year and hasn't looked back since.
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 teammate at Royal Challengers Bangalore AB de Villiers tweeted: "Virat Kohli! Different level."
"It's wonderful to see Virat Kohli back at his best in white-ball cricket, this unbeaten 166 was special even by his lofty standards," batting great VVS Laxman wrote on Twitter.
Sri Lanka batsman Angelo Mathews called Kohli a "modern great" and Pakistan wicketkeeper-batsman Kamran Akmal said "he is the boss of this era".
Senior Indian journalist Rajdeep Sardesai, son of former India cricketer Dilip Sardesai, hailed Kohli as the greatest ever ODI player.
"Recall how only a few months ago there were those questioning @imVkohli future, esp (especially) in white ball cricket," Sardesai wrote on Twitter.
But citing Kohli's tournament-leading run tally at the T20 World Cup and two ODI centuries against Sri Lanka, Sardesai wrote: "the King is back."Agence France-Presse
Kohli's third century in his last four matches and 116 by opener Shubman Gill powered India to 390-5 in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.
Virat Kohli smashed a brilliant attacking century to set up a convincing 67-run win for India in the opening one-day international against Sri Lanka on Tuesday.
The final match of the series marks Pakistan skipper Babar Azam's 100th ODI in a glorious career which began in 2015.
Despite that and defeat in the final match on Sunday, Azam was in buoyant mood. "Winning the series is great and so is achieving number one ranking that has set us in a good position for the World Cup," said the skipper.
Sheikh Mohammed Bin Hamad affirmed the high position that the emirate enjoys in organising and hosting the most important marine sports competitions in the world.
The biggest casualty of the opening day was former World No.12 Sabine Lisicky as the German went down tamely against Uzbekistan’s Nigina Abduraimova 6-3, 6-4.
The closing ceremony of WorldSkills Asia Abu Dhabi 2023, hosted by ACTVET from Nov.27 to 29, unveiled the winners of the event's second edition.
The Girls in Green, Fatima Sana and Shawal Zulfiqar, sailed the team towards victory. Fatima's 3 wickets for 18 runs guided the girls towards a crucial first win and Shawal's 41 runs off 42 balls helped Pakistan chase the 128-run target set by the Kiwis.