Virat Kohli is going through a lean patch with the bat for quite a while now. However, the veteran RCB batter has hit a rock bottom in the ongoing IPL, scoring only 216 runs at an average of 19.64 with one half-century.
In RCB’s last fixture against SRH, Kohli was dismissed for a first-ball duck. It was his third golden duck in this year’s IPL and the right-hander has now failed to score a century in more than 100 innings across all formats in competitive cricket.
Amid the struggles, Pakistan wicketkeeper-batter Mohammad Rizwan has come out in support of Kohli, saying that the latter will soon regain form through his 'hardwork'.
"I will say that he is a champion player but at this stage, we can pray for him because he is a hard working cricketer," Rizwan said in an exclusive interview with Cricwick.
"And tough times do come and things do get easier too. Every player has scored centuries and got out on pairs and this goes on. I can pray for him and I am hopeful that through hard work, he will control all the things."
Rizwan didn’t divulge the conversation he had with Kohli at the end of Pakistan's T20 World Cup clash against India last year.
"A lot of people have asked me about that conversation with Virat, that is a bit personal and even my real brothers don't know about it too."
Chasing 152 to win, Pakistan got over the line without breaking a sweat in 17.5 overs with 10 wickets in hand against India in the T20 World Cup 2021 encounter. While Rizwan stayed unbeaten on 79 off 55 balls (6 fours and 3 sixes), captain Babar Azam finished with 68 not out off 52 balls (6 fours and 2 sixes).
Reflecting on the chase, Rizwan said it wasn't easy as the pitch had started doing all sorts of tricks.
"No we didn't know that we will chase down 152 quite easily as a time came on me and the captain that after the powerplay, I said if both of us get out we will lose this match. Because all of a sudden the ball started gripping when the spinner came on and it was quite difficult.
"Before the start of the match at any point I didn't realize that I was playing against India. But after the match, I realized that I had played against India because the love and support from the Pakistan fans was unbelievable the way our people were excited and got united.
"At that time, during the middle phase pressure does build and it can happen in other matches too. So there was a time where we both felt that if we throw our wicket away, this game can be hard to win. We realized that we have to take the game forward slowly at that point and then Allah helped us get out of that tough phase."
(With Cricwick inputs)