Former India captain Virat Kohli has gone more than 100 matches without a hundred in cricket. His last hundred in any format of the game came back in November 2019 in a Test against Bangladesh in Kolkata. The 33-year-old superstar batter even failed to reignite his form in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and had a horror run in the competition. Virat Kohli's form or the lack of it became evident from the fact that he was dismissed for first-ball ducks thrice in the competition, something the cricketer had never achieved before in his illustrious career. While several former cricketers have tried to find the reasons behind Virat Kohli's prolonged slump, a former Pakistan captain has come up with a bizarre theory to explain why the Delhi-born batter has not been among the runs for a long time. Rashid Latif, the controversial Pakistan cricketer has claimed that it is because of former India coach Ravi Shastri that Virat Kohli has not been scoring runs.

“It is because of him, all this has happened with him (Kohli). Had he not been the coach, he (Kohli) would not have been sitting out,” Rashid Latif said in a discussion on the YouTube channel Caught Behind referring to Ravi Shastri's advice of taking some time off from cricket to Virat Kohli.

“What happened in 2019 (2017) was that a player like Anil Kumble was sidelined. Ravi Shastri came in his place. Whether he had the ability or not, I don't know. He was a broadcaster. He had no business becoming coach, absolutely no business. There were others (apart from Virat Kohli) who brought Ravi Shastri in. It is backfiring. In fact, it has backfired,” Rashid Latif added.

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During the IPL, Ravi Shastri had suggested that Virat Kohli take a break from the sport to recharge his batteries.

“I am going straight to the main guy here. Virat Kohli is overcooked. If anyone needs a break, it's him,” Ravi Shastri had told Star Sports.

“Whether it's 2 months or a month-and-a-half, whether it's after England or before England. He needs a break because he has got 6-7 years of cricket left in him and you don't want to lose that with a fried brain.”

Similar sentiments were echoed by former England captain Kevin Pietersen.

“Virat Kohli needs to say ‘cricket boots, for six months, I will see you later'. Turn off social media, go and get re-energised,” Kevin Pietersen said.

“When the stadiums are full again, you guarantee him a spot in that side for the next 12, 24 or 36 months. Tell him ‘you're our guy, we know you'll deliver for us'.”

Even Virat Kohli wasn't averse to taking a long break from cricket.

“There’s one person precisely who has mentioned it which is Ravi bhai and that’s because he has seen from close quarters over the last six-seven years the reality of the situation that I have been in. The amount of cricket that I have played and the ups and downs and the toll that it takes on you to play three formats of the game plus the IPL for 10-11 years non-stop with the seven years of captaincy in between,” he told Star Sports in an interview.

Kohli added: “So to take a break and when to take a break is obviously something that I need to take a call on, but it is only a healthy decision for anyone to take some time off and just rejuvenate yourself mentally and physically.

“It’s only a matter of creating a balance and finding that balance which is right for you as an individual moving forward and I will definitely discuss this with all the people involved – Rahul bhai, the Indian team management – everyone to chart out whatever is best for myself and for the team definitely.”

“What happened in England was a pattern so something that I could work on, something that I had to overcome. Right now, there’s nothing that you can point out saying there’s a problem here. So that for me is an easier thing to process because I know that I’m batting well and at times when I start feeling that rhythm back then I know I’m batting well, which wasn’t the case in England (where) I didn’t feel like I was batting well at all. So I had to work hard on one thing that I could be exposed to again and again which I overcame,” Virat Kohli explained.

Virat Kohli was rested for the five-match home T20I series against South Africa. However, he will be back in action on Thursday when the Indian cricket team will take on Leicestershire in a tour game ahead of the fifth Test against England next month.