Pakistan captain Babar Azam has stepped in to support Virat Kohli, who is currently going through one of the worst lean patches one can ever imagine. Kohli has failed to show consistency for the past three years, which is completely uncharacteristic of the great batter. As a result, he has been at the receiving end of criticism from former cricketers and experts.
Amidst his poor run of form, Pakistan captain Babar Azam defended Kohli saying the former India skipper needs support from all quarters to ride out his barren run. Babar Azam is currently in Sri Lanka for a Test series which is a part of the ICC World Test Championship.
“I just feel that in the present situation Kohli needs support and to be backed. I tweeted wishing him the best because I know how a player feels when he is going through this period and he needs the support of everyone,” Babar said at a pre-match press conference ahead of Pakistan’s first Test against Sri Lanka in Galle.
Babar was asked about Kohli in the media interaction following his late-night tweet in support of Kohli. “This too shall pass. Stay strong,” the 27-year-old wrote.
Babar Azam’s tweet for Virat Kohli
— Babar Azam (@babarazam258) July 14, 2022
Babar’s support for Kohli came after current Indian captain Rohit Sharma also threw his weight behind his predecessor.
“For someone who has won so many matches for India, you need one or two innings to bounce back. That’s what I feel and I am sure all those who follow cricket will think similarly,” Rohit said at the post-match press conference on Thursday
Saying that a cricketer of Kohli’s calibre does not need any reassurance from anyone, Rohit added, “He has played so many matches, over such a long period of time. He is such a great batter.”
Kohli also received backing from England captain Buttler who maintained that just like every cricketer, it is important to keep in mind the former is “human” and can have a couple of low scores before getting back into form once again.
“I suppose in a little way it is quite refreshing for the rest of us that he (Kohli) is human and he can have a couple of low scores as well, but look he has been one of the best players, if not the best in ODI cricket in the world,” Buttler said.
“So, he has been a fantastic player for so many years and all batters, it just proves, they go through runs of the form where they do not perform as well as they do sometimes, but certainly as an opposition captain, you know a player of that class is always due, so you are hoping it does not come against us,” Buttler added.
Kohli has managed to score only 158 runs from seven ODI games so far this year with only two fifties to his name. The 33-year-old though remains in the third position in the ICC ODI rankings behind Pakistan’s Babar and Imam ul Haq.
• Babar Azam jumps into the defence of Virat Kohli.
• Babar Azam asks the cricket fans to support and back Kohli.