DELHI: With just 119 runs in 7 matches with two scores over 15, Virat Kohli has got off to a poor start in IPL 2022. In his first season after quitting as Royal Challengers Bangalore captain, Kohli is averaging 19 and the worse part is that there is a pattern in the way he is getting out. Hard back of a length deliveries from quality seamers have brought about Kohli’s downfall a number of times in this IPL.
Tuesday was no different when Kohli was out for a golden duck for the first in IPL in five years after failing to control a rising Dushmantha Chameera delivery against Lucknow Super Giants. Reacting to Kohli’s form, former India head coach Ravi Shastri said the prolific right-hander is “overcooked” and “needs a break.”
Shastri, who has worked with Kohli as the head coach of Indian team for close to five years, said there might be a risk of losing 6-7 years of Kohli’s prime if he doesn’t take a break.
“I am going straight to the main guy here. Virat Kohli is overcooked. If anyone needs a break, it’s him. Whether it’s 2 months or a month-and-a-half, whether it’s after England or before England,” Shastri said on Star Sports after RCB beat LSG by 18 runs in an IPL 2022 match.
Shastri said Kohli might not be the only one who needs a little break from cricket considering the ever-increasing demands of different formats.
“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. He is not the only one. There might be 1 or 2 in world cricket going through the same. You need to address the problem upfront,” Shastri said.
“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,” Shastri added.
Echoing the same sentiment, former England captain Kevin Pietersen said Kohli should take time away from the game as well as social media to rejuvenate himself.
“…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.
“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’.” Pietersen said Kohli “is going to find it very hard to continue delivering now as his brain is completely fried”.