Former India batter Sanjay Manjrekar is facing the heat on social media after the cricketer-turned commentator controversially claimed that Virat Kohli has taken enough breaks from the sport and he should have played as many games as possible to regain his lost touch.

Virat Kohli is currently missing from India’s tour to the West Indies where the Men in Blue are presently participating in a five-match T20I series against Nicholas Pooran and his men after whitewashing the hosts 3-0 in the ODI series.

The talismanic Delhi-born batter will also not be a part of the national team’s trip to Zimbabwe where they are scheduled to appear in three ODIs.

“I think they should have played Virat Kohli in every international match possible, whatever the format because Virat has had his breaks. People are advocating that he should take some breaks and he’s had his breaks. If you look at the last two years, he’s not played a lot of International cricket,” Sanjay Manjrekar said on SPORTS18’s show – Sports Over The Top.

“Maybe there’s some logic there that we don’t know about. Maybe they had a chat with Virat Kohli, but my personal view is the more Virat Kohli would’ve played and especially these matches would’ve been better for him,” Sanjay Manjrekar added.

Manjrekar even went on to compare Virat Kohli’s barren run with the bat with India fast bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar who experienced a series of setbacks not so long ago but has bounced back since then.

“Bhuvneshwar recently gave an interview, and he is at his peak at the moment. Eighteen months back, we thought he may not have an international career. But he has bounced back superbly and is a certainty to make the T20 world cup squad. And he said, ‘The more I bowl, the more I get my rhythm’,” Manjrekar revealed.

“Bhuvneshwar Kumar clearly has said like it is with a lot of players when you’re going through a rut, the best way to come out of the rut is by playing. So, hopefully, that will happen soon,” Sanjay Manjrekar concluded.

Virat Kohli’s supporters, however, weren’t impressed with Sanjay Manjrekar’s comments as they assumed that the retired cricketer’s words were disrespectful towards their hero.

“The only way to bring Kohli back on runs is just a tweet away from Sanjay Manjrekar,” a Virat admirer wrote on Twitter while taking a swipe at the former cricket star.

“I also want him to play but he knows better than all of us what is good for him. So, keep your mouth closed Sanjay Manjrekar,” another said.

“Yeah please please we want more of your verbal diarrhea more. Because, Jadeja proved you wrong then Ashwin,” a third posted.

Just like Manjrekar, former Pakistan player Danish Kaneria doesn’t agree with the tactic of keeping Kohli away from cricket. Danish Kaneria even went on to slam the India selectors for not picking Virat Kohli for next month’s tour of Zimbabwe.

Calling it a conspiracy to drop Virat Kohli ahead of the Asia Cup, he questioned the Indian cricket board for not offering the Delhi-born superstar to get back among the runs against weak opposition like Zimbabwe.

“Virat Kohli should have played in this series. Does BCCI think that he should only feature in major tournaments? But if he fails there, then once again there would be talks about his lack of form. I think that is an injustice for Virat Kohli,” Danish Kaneria said on his YouTube channel.

“You have to be very clear with how you want to handle him. While he was rested for the entire West Indies tour, he surely should have been there for the Zimbabwe series. He could have found his form in the 50-over games and then played the Asia Cup. But it seems now that he might be dropped for the Asia Cup as well,” Danish Kaneria added.

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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.

Since then, he has gone 78 consecutive knocks without a three-figure score on the international stage.