Shastri’s advice for Kohli: Pull out of an IPL to prolong international career

"If you want to play and do well for India, you have to draw the line where you want to take that break and the ideal break would be off-season when India is not playing and the only time India does not play is the IPL," Shastri said.

Bangalore's Virat Kohli returns to the pavilion after being dismissed for 9 against Rajasthan in IPL 2022 on April 26. Photo: BCCI/IPL

With Virat Kohli struggling with his batting form in the ongoing IPL 2022, former India coach Ravi Shastri has advised him to take a break from the Twenty20 tournament to prolong his international career.

On Tuesday night (April 26), Kohli again failed with the bat. This time, the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) batter made just nine runs while opening the batting against Rajasthan Royals (RR).

Also read: As Kohli speaks to Lara, Bangar backs RCB batsman to come back strong

In nine games of IPL 2022, Kohli has managed to score only 128 runs. He started the tournament with 41 not out but after that, he managed only one 40-plus score. He has also collected two successive golden ducks.

Speaking on sports presenter Jatin Sapru’s YouTube channel, Shastri suggested that Kohli needs to take a break from IPL to extend his international cricket. Shastri said this suggestion is not only for Kohli but others as well who want to succeed at the international level.

Also read: ‘Kohli is overcooked’

“I think a break is ideal for him because he has played non-stop cricket and he has captained the side across all formats. It will be wise of him to take a break,” Shastri started off.

Rajasthan’s Prasidh Krishan (centre) celebrates after taking Virat Kohli’s (Bangalore) wicket in IPL 2022. Photo: BCCI/IPL

When he was asked where Kohli takes a break, the former India all-rounder continued, “You know, sometimes you have to draw the balance. This year he is already into the tournament (IPL 2022). Tomorrow, if push comes to shove and you want to prolong your international career and make a mark there for 6-7 years, pull out of an IPL, for all you care.”

He added, “If that is the case, you have played for 14-15 years. Not (only) Virat, I’ll tell that to anybody. If you want to play and do well for India, you have to draw the line where you want to take that break and the ideal break would be off-season when India is not playing and the only time India does not play is the IPL. Sometimes you need to do that, or tell the franchise, ‘I will play half (of the tournament), pay me half’. As simple as that. Those tough calls have to come if you want to reach the zenith of your profession, as an international player.”

When asked whether Kohli’s best is yet to come, his reply was, “Yes. He is still young. He has got the best 5-6 years ahead of him. He would have realised what he has gone through in these months. He knows he has to go back to the drawing board, how he thinks, how he approaches and he has to literally start from scratch.

“There have been many players in the past who have gone through this. You mentioned the first ball out, to be honest, from the outside I would not be worried. As a player, if I nick one first ball, I would say, ‘I have hardly been in’. It is when you get in and then throw it away, that disappoints you more. When he gets in, it is up to him to make it count.”

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