Pakistan cricket team captain Babar Azam has come out in support of Virat Kohli, who is going through an extended lean patch of form with the bat. He has gone without scoring a century for almost three years in international cricket. His last hundred came in the pink-ball Test against Bangladesh at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata in 2019.
The right-handed batter has scored 142 runs in six matches at an average of 23.67 in ODI cricket this year. For the first time since 2008, his ODI strike rate in one calendar year is less than 80.
He also endured poor form in the recently concluded T20I series against England. The talismanic scorer managed 12 runs in the two games he played. His poor form has put his place in the T20I side under the scanner with only a few months to go for the ICC T20 World Cup in Australia.
While many former cricketers have urged the selectors to drop out-of-form Kohli, Babar Azam has come out in support of the struggling batter. Taking to Twitter, he wrote, “This too shall pass. Stay strong. #ViratKohli.”
— Babar Azam (@babarazam258) July 14, 2022
Virat Kohli looked sublime in the second ODI against England at Lord’s on Thursday and played three scrumptious drives before edging one while chasing an away delivery.
Meanwhile, India succumbed to a 100-run defeat in the second ODI as the hosts bounced back to level the series 1-1.
“He only needs one or two good innings” – Rohit Sharma on Virat Kohli
Kohli also found support from captain Rohit Sharma, who stood up for his teammate after the second ODI against England at Lord’s. He reckoned that the former Indian captain is just one or two knocks away from hitting the form.
“He [Kohli] has played so many matches. He is playing for so many years. He is such a great batsman, so he does not need reassurance. I pointed this out in my last press conference, too: form goes up and down, that is part and parcel of any cricketer’s career,” Rohit said at the post-match press conference.
“So, a player like him, who has played for so many years, who has made so many runs, who has won so many matches, for him, he only needs one or two good innings (to bounce back). That is my thinking and I am sure all those who follow cricket will think similarly,” he added.
Virat Kohli will have one more shot at regaining his form when India lock horns with England for the final ODI on Sunday in Manchester.