Former India coach Ravi Shastri says break will help Kohli get his mojo back and a possible half-century in exciting Asia Cup opener against Pakistan will silence critics
Former India head coach Ravi Shastri has claimed that if talismanic India batter Virat Kohli gets a fifty in the side’s match against Pakistan in the Asia Cup on August 28, then the mouths of critics will be quiet for the rest of the tournament.
If he features in India’s Asia Cup opener against Pakistan it will also mark Kohli’s 100th T20I appearance. Kohli returns to the Indian team for the Asia Cup, having last featured for the national team during the tour of England in July. He was rested for white-ball tour of West Indies and ODIs against Zimbabwe. Kohli has been in a prolonged lean patch, having not scored a century in international cricket since November 2019.
Mental fatigue factor
“No, I haven’t spoken to him, but it’s not rocket science. Big players wake up in due course. They need a break; mental fatigue can creep in to the best in the world. There is a not a single player in world cricket who has not gone through a bad patch. I am sure this downtime is not just for the body, it’s time to reflect.
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“He would have reflected as to what he didn’t do right? What things he did absolutely right and should keep focussing on that. What he allowed to come into his mindset that was just not required? All these things come into play,” said Shastri in a press conference organised by Star Sports, the official broadcaster of Asia Cup. “He will come back with a calmer mind because the heat is off. You have been away. Now, what you do will get the tone. He gets a fifty in the very first game, mouths will be shut for the rest of the tournament. What’s happened in the past is history. “Remember, public memory is very short. So it works both ways. His opportunity here is to get that calmness and then take it one day at a time.”
Former Pakistan captain and fast bowling legend Wasim Akram was optimistic about Kohli getting back to form and took an aim at people critical of Kohli’s recent lean performances on social media.
Akram backs Kohli too
“Whatever I have been seeing on social media, most of them are having a go at him [Kohli] unnecessarily. He is only 33, he is one of the greatest of all time of modern-era. He is averaging 50 in all the formats, including T20Is. He is still fit as a fiddle; he is still one of the best fielders India have got. Form is temporary, class is forever and that is what Virat Kohli is,” said Akram.
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