“Overcooked Virat Kohli needs break to freshen himself”: Ravi Shastri

Virat Kohli has had a dismal start to the IPL 2022 season, scoring just 119 runs in seven matches with two scores of above 15. Kohli is averaging 19 in his first season after leaving the Royal Challengers Bangalore captaincy, and the worst part is that he has a pattern in how he is getting out. Kohli has been dismissed a few of times in this IPL due to hard back of a length deliveries from quality seamers. Kohli was out for a golden duck for the first time in the IPL in five years on Tuesday, when he failed to control a rising Dushmantha Chameera delivery against Lucknow Super Giants. Former India head coach Ravi Shastri commented on Kohli’s form, saying the prolific right-hander is “overcooked” and “needs a rest.”

If Kohli does not take a sabbatical, Shastri, who has worked with him as the head coach of the Indian team for over five years, believes he risks missing 6-7 years of his prime.

“I am going straight to the main guy here. Virat Kohli is overcooked. If anyone needs a break, it’s him. Whether it’s 2 months or a month-and-a-half, whether it’s after England or before England,” Shastri said on Star Sports after RCB beat LSG by 18 runs in an IPL 2022 match.

Given the ever-increasing demands of different formats, Shastri believes Kohli isn’t the only one who needs a break from cricket.

“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. He is not the only one. There might be 1 or 2 in world cricket going through the same. You need to address the problem upfront,” said Shastri.

“When I was coach at the time when this first started, the first thing I said is ‘you have to show empathy to the guys’. If you’re going to be forceful, there is a very thin line there, from a guy losing the plot as opposed to him hanging in there and giving his best. So you have to be extremely careful,” he added.

Former England captain Kevin Pietersen echoed this opinion, saying Kohli should take time away from the game and social media to recharge his batteries.

“…the guy has had so much to deal with, from marriage to baby to media scrutiny and all on his personal life. He is the biggest star on show,” he said.

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

“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’.” Pietersen said Kohli “is going to find it very hard to continue delivering now as his brain is completely fried.”