Virat Kohli’s bad patch of batting form continued as the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) batsman was dismissed for a golden duck against Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL 2022) on Tuesday night (April 19).
Though RCB won the match and moved up to second in the points table, there are concerns over Kohli’s failures.
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He is yet to register a half-century in IPL 2022 with 48 being his highest. So far, his scores in seven games are 41 not out, 12, 5, 48, 1, 12, and 0 (119 runs at 19.83).
The signs are worrying not only for RCB but for the Indian team too as he has gone 100 matches, across formats, without scoring a hundred. His last century came in November 2019, against Bangladesh in the historic day/night Test at Kolkata’s Eden Gardens.
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‘6-7 years of cricket left’
Looking at Kohli’s current form, former India coach Ravi Shastri feels the 33-year-old right-hander should take a break from cricket as he is “overcooked”.
“I am going straight to the main guy here. Virat Kohli is overcooked. If anyone needs a break, it’s him,” Shastri told IPL’s host broadcaster Star Sports on Tuesday.
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“Whether it’s 2 months or a month-and-a-half, whether it’s after England (tour in July) or before England (trip). He needs a break because he has got 6-7 years of cricket left in him and you don’t want to lose that with a fried brain,” the former India all-rounder added.
Further, he stated, “When I was coach at the time when this first started, the first thing I said is ‘you have to show empathy to the guys’… If you’re going to be forceful, there is a very thin line there, from a guy losing the plot as opposed to him hanging in there and giving his best. So you have to be extremely careful.”
‘Six months break’
Former England captain Kevin Pietersen, who too is part of the Star Sports commentary panel, suggested a six-month break from cricket for Kohli.
“…the guy has had so much to deal with, from marriage to baby to media scrutiny and all on his personal life. He is the biggest star on show,” he said.
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“Virat Kohli needs to say ‘cricket boots, for six months, I will see you later’. Turn off social media, go and get re-energised. When the stadiums are full again, you guarantee him a spot in that side for the next 12, 24 or 36 months. Tell him ‘you’re our guy, we know you’ll deliver for us’,” he added.