Kohli In Crosshairs Of Critics: Here’s What They Have To Say

| Updated: 11 July, 2022 8:19 pm IST
Virat Kohli struggles to perform, critics grills former Indian team skipper

Virat Kohli’s failure in the T20I against England has sparked a debate about his place in the team. Kohli has been going through a bad patch in the format since last year’s World T20. A host of prominent cricketers are questioning his place in the team. There is also a discussion about whether he should get a berth in India’s squad for the next World T20 which is slated to take place in October and November this year.

Here is what noted cricket experts are saying about Kohli:

Rohit Sharma: “It’s not difficult at all for us (Kohli’s place in the XI) because we don’t listen to outside noise. Also, I don’t know who these experts are and why they’re called experts. I don’t get that. They are seeing from the outside, they don’t know what’s happening inside the team. We have a thought process, we make the team, we debate and discuss it, and think a lot about it. The players are backed and are given opportunities. People on the outside don’t know about it.”

Kapil Dev: “Now the situation is such that you might be forced to bench Kohli from T20 playing eleven. If world No. 2 bowler Ashwin can be dropped from the Test side then (once upon a time) World No. 1 batter can also be dropped. He is not batting at that which we have seen him do over the years. He has made a name because of his performances but if he isn’t performing, then you can’t keep the performing youngsters out of the team.”

Sunil Gavaskar: “Virat has been one of our greatest batsmen in the last decade. There are many T20Is that India will play before the World T20. So, let’s wait before calling for his axing. Also, when you are talking about the team, let’s look at everybody else as well instead of singling out a person.”

Wasim Jaffer: “Kohli’s IPL strike rate hasn’t been great. He’s not been in the best of forms. Deepak Hooda can give you an option with bowling so that will be taken into consideration but not straightaway. I’d say Kohli will get an opportunity to play a few matches and then probably selectors will take a call on whether he should be chosen in the World T20 squad. But I don’t think he’ll be a certainty because so many young players have done so well. In the last T20 World Cup, the strike rate and approach were questioned and I think we need to keep looking at the future.”

Venkatesh Prasad: “There was a time when you were out of form, you would be dropped irrespective of reputation. Sourav, Sehwag, Yuvraj, Zaheer, and Bhajji all have been dropped when not in form. They went back to domestic cricket, scored runs, and staged a comeback. The yardsticks seem to have changed drastically now, where there is rest for being out of form. This is no way to progress. There is so much talent in the country and cannot play on reputation. One of India’s greatest match-winners, Anil Kumble sat out on so many occasions. India needs actions for the larger good.”

Ajay Jadeja: “Virat Kohli is a choice that you have to make. Do you want to play that solidity at the top and then get runs right at the back? It’s that old-style when Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma will bat at the top and you would have players like Dhoni where they get 60 in the last four overs. If I had to pick a T20 side, Virat probably wouldn’t be there.”

Graeme Swann: “Maybe when you have got a player as good as him, if he was English and I was in the English media, I would be saying hey, we need to ease up on him. We need to take pressure off our star asset so that he performs rather than putting more undue pressure on him.”

Virender Sehwag: “India has so many batsmen who can get going from the start, some of them are unfortunately sitting out. Need to find a way to play the best available players in the current form in T-20 cricket.”

Danish Kaneria: “When the big guns were out, even then the team was performing, the youngsters were doing the job. The big player should understand that he is becoming a liability to the team. Virat Kohli has become a liability now. So either he needs to give up his place or make a comeback before the T20 World Cup.”

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