India opener Shikhar Dhawan has taken an indirect swipe at all those former cricketers, including Kapil Dev, Aakash Chopra, and Sanjay Manjrekar for criticizing Virat Kohli’s frequent breaks from international cricket.
Shikhar Dhawan who recently led Team India to a 3-0 clean sweep against the West Indies in the Caribbean declared that breaks were important for players to keep them fresh otherwise they would burn out due to cricket’s long calendar which includes the Indian Premier League as well.
“A player has to get fresh to give peak performance. If a player plays back-to-back, he will get mentally tired. It is important to give rest mentally. If you see there is rotation in international cricket so that players get rest. If a player travels everywhere, he will get tired. At the end of the day, a cricketer is a human. I feel people at top level understand and accordingly plan to keep a nice balance,” Shikhar Dhawan told India Today.
Earlier, Sanjay Manjrekar and Kapil Dev had made scathing comments about Virat Kohli’s absence from the West Indies and Zimbabwe tours.
While Manjrekar said that Virat Kohli has taken enough breaks and needed to be out there on the field to regain his mojo, Kapil Dev caused a stir by advocating that he should be dropped from India’s limited-overs sides.
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.
Last month, Dev had caused ripples by suggesting in an interview that it was time to drop Virat Kohli from India’s 50-over and T20 teams.
“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 continued.
“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.