Virat Kohli remains the focal point of discussion in India's cricketing circles despite being absent from the ongoing tour of the West Indies. He is currently holidaying with his actress wife Anushka Sharma in Paris after the BCCI rested him from the three ODIs and five T20Is against the West Indies. But Virat Kohli's extended lean patch and failure to end his long-century drought have led many former cricketers, including the legendary Kapil Dev, to question his spot in Team India. However, Virat Kohli's severe criticism from several quarters has also created a wave of sympathy for him, with numerous past and present players backing him to bounce back from his woeful run of form, with former Australia captain Ricky Ponting being the most vociferous among his supporters. After Ricky Ponting, ex-India pacer Ajit Agarkar gave a no-nonsense reaction to Kapil Dev's comments on Virat Kohli.

“He is getting starts. At the moment, he is finding new ways to get out. He knows how to score runs. At the moment, he is going through a lean patch, which is a fact of life for every great player. Hopefully, for India’s sake, he gets back to form soon as there is a 50-over World Cup next year,” Ajit Agarkar told FanCode.

“He has got a bit of time till the World Cup. But you don’t want a great player like Virat Kohli to be out of form for long. Even in England, he got a couple of starts, but I don’t think he has looked at his best. That’s why everyone is a little bit worried. Sometimes, great players find a way after they get started, but at the moment, he is not,” Ajit Agarkar added.

“I am sure there’s a little bit of worry. There’s a lot of talk about ‘Virat Kohli ko replace karle’, I think it’s not fair,” Agarkar noted.

The Mumbai-born retired cricketer is of the view that comparing Virat Kohli with young players who are producing one great performance after another for the Men in Blue is unfair. Ajit Agarkar emphasized that unlike India's youth brigade Virat Kohli had a truckload of experience playing in Australia, and the Indian team management can trust him to deliver there.

“No doubt that. That’s why I am saying it’s premature (talks about replacing Virat). He is not getting runs, a few other players are performing, but come the World Cup in Australia, if India are 2 down, you want Virat Kohli in form, but you want Virat Kohli batting there. Because he knows how to bat under pressure on the big stages,” Ajit Agarkar said about Kapil Dev's harsh criticism of Virat Kohli.

“We have got some excellent young players who are doing well, but that doesn’t mean you have to suddenly start questioning Virat Kohli. In World Cups, you need top players, you need experience. Hopefully, before that, he will get some runs. Once the confidence is there, he will find the Australian conditions the best to bat,” Agarkar concluded.

Earlier this month, the 1983 World Cup-winning captain had caused ripples by suggesting in an interview that it was time to drop Virat Kohli from India's 50-over and T20 sides.

“I can’t say a big player like Virat Kohli should be dropped. He is a very big player. If you have said that he has been rested to give him respect then there’s no harm in that,” Kapil Dev told ABP News.

“The most important part is how to bring such a player back in form? He’s not an ordinary cricketer. He should get more practice and play more matches to get his form back. I don’t think there’s any player in this world who is bigger than Kohli in T20s but when you are not doing well, the selectors can take their call. My thinking is that if anybody is not doing well then he can be rested or dropped,” Kapil Dev further said.

“It’s not like India haven’t played without Virat in the last five to six years, but I want such a player to be back in form. Yes, he’s been dropped or rested but there’s still a lot of cricket left in him. And he has to create the path for that. Maybe play Ranji Trophy or score runs anywhere. His confidence needs to be back. This is the difference between a great and a good player. A great player like him shouldn’t take so much time to get back in form. He has to fight with himself and get things in order. Yes, it’s a bit of a concern that he is taking so much time to get back in form, a great player doesn’t take this long,” Kapil Dev elaborated.

“I don’t have any problems if he is dropped or rested but I want him to get back in form. One innings can change a great player’s fortune but when will that come, we don’t know. We are waiting for two years for that,” he summed up.