News from India – Sunil Gavaskar on Virat Kohli

Virat Kohli is desperate for big runs and as a result has “developed a fear of playing every delivery,” says Sunil Gavaskar.
Kohli finished the white ball leg of the England tour without half a century. In the two ODIs, Kohli was out and nodding left arm quicks Reece Topley and David Willey and had scores of 16 and 17. In the two T20Is he scored 1 and 11. In the test game at Edgbaston earlier, Kohli hacked in the first innings and was out in the second innings to jab the slip cordon and posted scores of 11 and 20. Kohli’s century drought across formats has now extended to 79 innings.

“After you’ve been an opening batter and you’ve been troubled by that line, there are certain things you try and do.” Gavaskar tells India today. “It comes down to his first mistake turning out to be his last.

“Again, just because he’s not under runs there’s this apprehension of playing every delivery because that’s the batsmen’s feeling, they have to score. You try to play at deliveries that you wouldn’t otherwise. But he’s also made good deliveries on this particular tour.”

Gavaskar said he is open to helping Kohli work on his weakness.

“If I had about 20 minutes with him, I could tell him what he might have to do,” Gavaskar said. “It might help him, I’m not saying it will help him, but it might, especially in relation to that off-blunt line.”

Kohli was resting from India’s white ball tour of the Caribbean. India’s next mission after that is a short tour of Zimbabwe, followed by the Asia Cup T20s, possibly in the United Arab Emirates in August.

“He [Kohli] played so many matches. He’s been playing for so many years. He’s such a great hitter so he doesn’t need validation,” Rohit said after the second ODI. “As I also pointed out in my last press conference: the ebb and flow of form is an integral part of any cricketer’s career.

“So a player like him, who’s played so many years, who’s made so many runs, who’s won so many games, just needs a good innings or two [to bounce back]. That’s my opinion and I’m sure everyone who follows cricket will feel the same way.”

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