Former New Zealand cricket star Scott Styris feels ex-India captain Virat Kohli will not gain much if he decides to tour Zimbabwe next month. Instead, Virat Kohli has been advised to take a long break from the sport to recharge his batteries which will help him in regaining his lost touch with the bat.
Scott Styris also believes that Virat Kohli may hit a “cheap hundred” against Zimbabwe in Harare, which may improve his confidence at the time but doesn't do any good for his batting form in the long run.
“Firstly, I loved hearing what a selector goes through in the process that they don't just simply pick a team or pick the best players. There's a real methodology around how they go about putting a team together. I can tell you there are plenty of times I wish I could have a conversation with our selectors back here in New Zealand about certain things,” Scott Styris told Sports18.
“So, I loved hearing that, but I'm with you a hundred percent. I think it is a lose-lose for Kohli. I'd love to see him take a complete break from the game for a little while and come back. Asked the question as selectors and coach Rahul Dravid, I think he's got a big part to plan as to how much preparation time you need to be at a hundred percent when the world cup starts and then work backward from there and then build that schedule that Saba was talking about,” Scott Styris added.
“So yeah, Zimbabwe, I'd forget about it because I don't necessarily think there's a lot to gain from him. He might score a cheap hundred, which goes great for confidence, but doesn't necessarily change too much moving forward because I still believe he's the key man for India,” Scott Styris explained.
Virat Kohli has been going through an extended dry spell with the bat. During the recent tour of England, the former India captain managed to score just 76 runs in his six outings in a Test match, and two ODIs and T20Is each.
While he perished at scores of 11 and 20 in the rescheduled fifth and final Test against the Three Lions in Edgbaston, Virat Kohli was dismissed for 1 and 11 in the T20I games in Birmingham and Trent Bridge.
Though he missed the first clash of the ODI series because of a groin injury, he didn't succeed in changing his fortunes in the remaining two 50-over matches as he registered a total of 33 runs, making 16 and 17 at the Lord's and Old Trafford respectively.
Before that, Virat Kohli had a horror run in the Indian Premier League (IPL) as he could score only 341 runs at a mediocre average of 22.73 in 16 games in the tournament.
Virat Kohli last made a century in any form of international cricket in the historic Pink-ball Test against Bangladesh in November 2019.
Earlier, former India stumper Saba Karim had shared similar sentiments.
“First, I think the selectors and the team management have to figure out whether Virat Kohli is essential for India's preparation for India's T20 World Cup side or not. And once the selectors decide the team management feels that Virat Kohli is essential to the team’s success then I’d chart a path for Virat Kohli’s come back to great form,” Saba Karim said on the same television network.
“I think that's the time when the selectors or the captain or Rahul Dravid would love to have a chat with him and then try and take it forward. I would not want to have any kind of imposition on Virat Kohli that ‘Hey listen, you have to come back and play this Zimbabwe series otherwise we’ll not pick you for the World Cup T20.’”
“So, I think once you decide that he is such an essential player for the team’s success, then I reach out to him. I’ll say okay, it is up to you to decide whether you want to come back and play the Zimbabwe ODI or you want to take an extended break and come back for the Asia Cup T20,” Saba Karim further said.
“I would say that'd be a blunder from India's perspective. Never do that. And I think Virat is such an important figure in the Indian line-up. The way I look at it, the way Rohit Sharma and Rahul Dravid have backed him, that makes sense because they know that Virat Kohli, fully back in good form, will be extremely beneficial for the team’s success in the World Cup T20,” Saba Karim elaborated.
“So, I think for the time being, as I said earlier, have a chat with Kohli, find some kind of a common part and then try and take it forward and make him feel as much as possible that he's such an essential player for India's success and take a call after the world cup T20 have another conversation with him and then decide how to take it forward,” Saba Karim concluded.