Virat Kohli is going through a torrid phase in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) while playing for the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB).
After two successive golden ducks against LSG and SRH, the veteran batter scored 9 off 10 balls in RCB’s 29-run defeat at the hands of RR on Tuesday (April 26).
In the IPL 2022 so far, Kohli has played 9 innings and managed to amass only 128 runs at an average of 16 with the highest score of 48.
Amid his struggles, former India head coach Ravi Shastri has advised Virat Kohli to pull out of the IPL, reiterating that the latter badly needs a break to freshen up his mind.
"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. 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 the IPL, for all you care," Shastri said on Jatin Sapru's YouTube channel.
"If that is the case, you have played for 14-15 years. Not only Virat, I'll tell that to any other player. 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 where 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'll only play the half. Pay me half, as simple as that. Those tough calls need to come if you want to reach the zenith of your profession as an international player," he added.
According to Ravi Shastri, Kohli has his best cricket ahead of him and the batter needs to go back to the drawing board to fine-tune his game.
"Virat is still young and he has best 5-6 years ahead of him. He would have realised what he has gone through in these last few 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 first ball out, to be honest, from the outside I would not be worried. As a player if I have gotten out first ball, I have hardly been in. It is when you get in and throw it away, that is more disappointing. When he gets in, it is up to him to make it count," said Shastri.
Virat Kohli has now gone 17 Tests, 21 ODIs, 25 T20Is, and 39 IPL games without reaching the three-figure mark. His last hundred in competitive cricket came against Bangladesh in a Test match in November 2019.