Virat Kohli is going through a disastrous run with the bat that has now extended to 973 days and 78 innings without a hundred in international cricket. But the talismanic India batter is confident about regaining his lost touch ahead of big tournaments like the Asia Cup and T20 World Cup. While the continental competition is scheduled to take place next month in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the ICC event will be held in Australia in October-November.
Virat Kohli didn't participate in the last edition of the Asia Cup in the same country after the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) rested him from the continental competition. Nonetheless, Virat Kohli's absence didn't cost India much as Rohit Sharma who led the team in Virat Kohli's absence at the time, played some splendid knocks to power the Men in Blue to yet another trophy in Asia.
Virat Kohli has been given a break from the ongoing tour of the West Indies by the Indian board. He is expected to return to the national team for the continental tournament which starts on August 27 in the UAE.
Notably, Virat Kohli is India's all-time top-scorer in the Asia Cup, having made 766 runs in 14 innings in the tournament across the two formats. Alternatively, the event is held in the ODI and the T20 format. This year's tourney in the Middle East will be in the form of T20Is.
Virat Kohli also made his intentions clear about giving his all to help the Rohit Sharma-led side in ending their 15-year drought in the T20 World Cup in Australia. India last won the big tournament in its inaugural edition in South Africa in 2007.
“My main aim is to help India win the Asia Cup and the World Cup and for that I am ready to do anything for the team,” Virat Kohli said in a statement posted by Indian broadcaster Star Sports on Twitter.
However, as soon as the statement was released, Indian cricket supporters started trolling Virat Kohli on social media.
While some asked him to “retire” from cricket if he wanted to see India win the Asia Cup and the World Cup, a few others urged him to continue his rest till the end of the year.
Some even called him to quit the team so that talented youngsters like Deepak Hooda are included in the squad for the showpiece tournament Down Under.
“Then better don't come back into the team. Let Deepak Hooda take your place. Help team India win by staying away. You yourself are saying you can do anything! Look at Ben Stokes, he retired to let someone more worthy and in the right frame of mind enter the team,” a Team India fan wrote on Twitter.
“Sitting out would be your best contribution, pls do that,” another said.
“This is team India..Virat does not own team India…Virat can do whatever he wants with RCB(gf) but not with team India (motherland),” a third declared.
Then Take Rest For The Tournaments. India Will Win. https://t.co/7GlbTG6AWa
— Babu Bhaiya (@Shahrcasm) July 23, 2022
U was a run-machine bt now not able to touch even 25+ & out off-form since 2 yrs,u can help India winning Asia & world cup by not taking the position of in-form players,as 3rd position is the most important position for any team,& u are making team weaker scoring in single digits
— vicky lohariwala (@VLohariwala) July 24, 2022
Nothing to do Virat, firstof all you quit the team. Then India will win easily.
— Pirati Balakrishna (@PiratiBalakris1) July 24, 2022
Stay out of team India is all you do best.
— Nikhil Mittal (@NikhilM18819686) July 24, 2022
At the present form how he can help India to win is by playing as the 12th man.
— Manu Saraswathy (@SaraswathyManu) July 24, 2022
Pls dont play for India. An in form young player deserves the spot.
— Prashanth (@PrashanthRames6) July 23, 2022
Earlier, ex-India pacer Ajit Agarkar and former captain of the Indian women's team Anjum Chopra had thrown their weight behind Virat Kohli.
Calling him a ‘big match-winner, the two said that the talk of dropping the Delhi-born cricketer from India's limited-overs set-up was just nonsense and nothing at all.
“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.
“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 explained.
“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 pointed out.
“I have seen players scoring 30s and 40s and surviving in the Indian team for years. But from his bat, the 30s and 40s look less because of the standard he has set for himself. I am sure that it will be a matter of time that he will be back among runs for the Indian team,” Anjum Chopra concluded.