A Virat Kohli inside edge from Hardik Pandya at the beginning of the fourth over of Royal Challengers Bangalore’s (RCB) chase against Gujarat Titans remained clear of the stumps and sailed towards the fine-leg boundary for four. When Kohli was on 12, he punched the air in a way that is generally reserved for special occasions.

“That tiny inside edge, that little initial pump…,” RCB director of cricket operations Mike Hesson said to reporters. “We know Virat when he’s in that mood—good luck!”

Kohli has had the type of season when every run has seemed like a lengthy period of difficulty. He had two half-centuries, but the second was unmistakably different from the first. Kohli’s 53-ball 58 at Brabourne last month seemed like a labored effort from a mentally and physically exhausted mind and body. In contrast, his 54-ball 73 at the Wankhede was a free-flowing display of strokeplay.

The innings mirrored the mental transformation as well. Kohli subsequently said that he felt “extremely loose and calm” and that he had “clarity on what I can do every ball.”

“Sometimes, in order to perform and meet (people’s) expectations, you forget about the process.” So you go back to the drawing board,” Kohli stated during the award presentation. “You may get caught up in all the things that can go wrong on the field instead of all the things that can go right.”