Former India skipper Virat Kohli is enduring an extended lean patch with the bat across formats for a while now. After a dismal IPL 2022 campaign for RCB, where he scored only 341 runs in 16 games at an average of 22.73 and a strike rate of 115.98, the right-hander is now struggling for runs in the ongoing England tour.
Kohli failed to make a mark in the Edgbaston Test, scoring 11 and 20 across the two innings while he registered scores of 1 and 11 in the T20I series.
As a result, the veteran batter has come under the scanner and now questions are being raised over his place in the T20I side by former cricketers, including Kapil Dev and Virender Sehwag.
Amid the scrutiny, batting legend Sunil Gavaskar has backed under-fire Kohli, saying that it is too early to worry about the latter’s place in India's squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup in Australia.
While Gavaskar admitted that Kohli is going through a poor run of form, he further said skipper Rohit Sharma and other players have struggled to perform as well.
"See, I cannot understand that when Rohit Sharma does not score runs no one talks about it. It is the same with other players as well. There is a saying that form is temporary, class is temperament. See, the kind of template they are adopting (in T20Is) where they have to swing the bat from ball one, you will succeed and fail," Gavaskar told Sports Tak.
"We have a good selection committee which is thinking about it. I think there is enough time (more than two months) to announce the squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup 2022. There will be several competitive Asian countries participating in the event. You will have to pick your team keeping in mind the form of a player. There is no need to panic yet and we need to give them some time,” he added.
According to Gavaskar, the 50-over format is the best chance for Virat Kohli to regain his form. Apparently, Kohli is likely to miss the first game of the three-ODI series against England due to a groin injury while he has been rested for the upcoming ODI series in West Indies.
“I think the ODI series has come at the right time. It suits his natural game. Like in Test cricket, there is enough time to settle down. In ODI cricket too the batter can play himself in according to the conditions,” Gavaskar opined.
When asked about Rohit’s response in the press conference to Kapil Dev’s comment on Kohli, Gavaskar replied: "At times, there is a need for an outside perspective. That is a reason why we have had foreign coaches because they bring a different perspective and look to do their job. On the other hand, very few people know about the environment within a team. This is also correct in a way because the discussion about tactics in the dressing room is privy to them. And, these discussions should not leave the team as they will give the opposition an upper hand. However, from both sides, the main target is the betterment of Indian cricket.”
(With Sports Tak inputs)