Former India captain Mohammed Azharuddin has recently come out and defended Virat Kohli who has been under a spell of bad form. The Delhi-born batter hasn’t had an incredible IPL and similarly failed to score a century since November 2019. While speaking to Khaleej Times in Dubai, Azhar has backed Kohli to get back in form and expressed that he needs just one big knock to get his confidence back.
“With Virat Kohli, what happens is that even if he scores a 50, people say he has failed,” said Azharuddin. “I think it happens to every cricketer. Even the best of the players have gone through these lean periods,” he went on to say.
“There is nothing wrong with his technique. Sometimes you also need a little bit of luck,” he continued. “If he gets one big score, a big hundred, the aggression and the confidence will come back.” In the 2022 IPL season, Kohli had scored 341 runs at an average of 22.73 with a strike rate of 129.15. He only managed to score only two half-centuries and also record three golden ducks in the tournament.
Similarly, former India player and coach Ravi Shastri also defended Kohli and talked about how the 33-year-old needs a break to recharge after captaining and playing on the highest level in all three formats. Shastri said, “So, it’s not a question of him batting badly. He must be ticking all the boxes in the nets, striking it beautifully.”
“(But) mental fatigue creeps in, that’s the time you need a little bit of a break to just rejuvenate, to recharge the batteries and come back refreshed. It’s not a break because of form like Danny mentioned. It’s nothing to do with it. It’s just that little bit of overload that he’s had over the last few years – for that reason give him a break,” he continued.
“Absolutely no question about it,” Shastri said when asked if managing the workloads of key senior players was necessary. “Very difficult for a player to maintain optimum form, hunger, that passion if you are going to play all three formats constantly. And he is the one player amongst all Indian players who has done exactly that.”