A free-flowing Virat Kohli in his element is one of cricket’s most beautiful spectacles. On Thursday, the star Royal Challengers Bangalore hitter rediscovered his groove with a 54-ball 73 against Gujarat Titans. Kohli, who has had a disappointing IPL season in which he has three ducks in a ten-team league, hit his second fifty and even passed the 7,000-run barrier for the franchise. Bangalore’s chase at the Wankhede Stadium, with 169 required to win their last league game, was cut short by Kohli, who surged back to form and struck eight fours and two sixes in his effort. The 2016 IPL runners-up cruised to victory by eight wickets, keeping their playoff chances alive.

Kohli had just 236 runs all season before the game, well short of his own high expectations. However, the former Bangalore captain was unfazed by his performance on the field. During a talk with Rajasthan Royals opener Jos Buttler, Kohli, 33, confessed how he laughed at his own lean patch.

“Jos Buttler came to me after the Rajasthan Royals match and said I want to ask you something,” Kohli said in a Star Sports interview. “I told him that you’re wearing the Orange Cap, what do you want to ask me, I’m not able to score runs – and we had a laugh about it.”

While Kohli’s erratic batsmanship is a major subject of controversy, the Indian batsman claims he is in the “happiest time” of his life. The former India captain, who also left the Royal Challengers Bangalore leadership last year, has not made a century in competitive cricket in over three years. He, on the other hand, refuses to accept that the drive has vanished.

“I’m in the best part of my life right now. What I perform in the field gives me no sense of self-worth or value. That time has passed for me. For me, this is a period of transition, “Kohli said.

“… That’s not to say I don’t have the same drive; I’ll never lose it.” I’m not going to play this game till my desire goes away.”

“But to understand that some things are beyond your control, the only things you can control are the things you can work towards, which is working hard on the field and in life, and from that standpoint, I feel like I am in the most balanced space that I have ever been, and I am happy with who I am and how I am leading my life,” he continued.