Australian legend Ricky Ponting has come out in support of former Team India captain Virat Kohli who has hit a rough patch with the bat. But Ricky Ponting believes that Virat Kohli would be back in prime form soon because the Delhi-born cricketer was an absolute professional” and would somehow find a route to come out of his current rut.
Virat Kohli’s form has been of the talking points in Indian cricket as “King Kohli” has faltered at every juncture in the last two and a half years.
Virat Kohli’s last century in any format of the game came way back in November 2019 in a Test match against Bangladesh in Kolkata. Since then more than 100 games have passed and he’s yet to add to his total of 70 hundreds in the international arena.
In the Indian Premier League’s (IPL) latest edition, Virat Kohli once again disappointed his fans, as he could only make 341 runs with a poor average of 22.73 in 16 games. Kohli’s run in the IPL was a horror show, to say the least as he registered three golden ducks in the same tournament for the first time in his career.
Many former cricketers have given their opinion about Virat Kohli’s struggles and it was time Ricky Ponting came out with his version.
“It (poor form) is going to happen to everyone at some stage. Virat’s probably had a 10 or 12-year run where hasn’t had many down times,” the former Australian captain said in an episode of the ICC Review.
Ricky Ponting, however, left it to Virat Kohli to find out whether the flaw in his batting was technical or mental because as per the Tasmanian the star Team India player was the best man to find that answer.
“But there was a lot of talk and conjecture around the IPL about how tired and burnt out he might be. That’s for him to work out and assess and find ways to improve, whether it’s a technical thing or a mental thing. I’m sure, being the absolute professional that he is, that he’ll work it out and work it out pretty quickly,” he added.
Ricky Ponting also highlighted the fact that sometimes a cricketer is unaware of whether he has got burned out or not. Sometimes even a small niggle or a player’s state of mind could take a toll on his performance, which may be true for Virat Kohli as well.
“One thing I do know from experience is that quite often you bluff yourself as a player that you’re not actually tired, that you’re not physically or mentally tired. You always find a way to get yourself up for training, you always find a way to get yourself up for game. It’s not until you actually stop and have a couple of days do you realise how tired and fatigued you are,” Ponting said.
“So that might be exactly where Virat Kohli is at now, but I’m pretty sure he won’t stay down for too long,” the legendary cricketer concluded.
Notably, Kohli himself is not opposed to the idea of taking a break from the sport after former Team India coach Ravi Shastri claimed that he was “overcooked”.
“I am going straight to the main guy here. Virat Kohli is overcooked. If anyone needs a break, it’s him,” Ravi Shastri 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,” Shastri added.
Virat Kohli responded to Ravi Shastri’s suggestion, telling him that he was assessing the situation and he would take a call only after having discussions with national coach Rahul Dravid. But Kohli acknowledged that a break could turn out to be a blessing in disguise as it could rejuvenate his mind.
“It’s not that a lot of people have mentioned it (taking break). There is one person precisely who mentioned it, which is Ravi bhai. 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. The ups and down 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 seven years of captaincy in between,” Kohli said in conversation with an Indian sports broadcaster last month.
“It’s definitely a thing that one needs to consider because you don’t want to do something which you are not part of 100 per cent. And I have always believed in that in my life. So, to take a break and when to take a break is obviously something that I need to take a call on. It is only a healthy decision for anyone to take some time off and you know just rejuvenate yourself mentally and physically. Not so much physically because physical fitness you keep up with. But it’s the mental kind of reset that you need and you want to be excited for what you are doing,” he signed off.