Former England skipper Kevin Pietersen on Saturday threw his weight behind the out-of-form Virat Kohli, saying that he should be proud as “people can only dream about” what he has achieved. The former Indian skipper is enduring a wretched run with the bat and has failed to score a century since November 2019.
“You go big guy! People can only dream about what you’ve done in cricket. And they’re some of the best players that have played the game,” Pietersen wrote on his Twitter handle. In another message for Kohli, Pietersen wrote on his Instagram: “Buddy, your career has had some of the best that have played the game only wish they could have done what you have (so far).
“Be proud, walk tall & enjoy life. There’s way more than just the bubble of cricket out there. You’ll be back,@virat.kohli.” While Kohli’s form is being questioned by some, many former and current players have come out in support of the batter.
Pietersen joined the likes of Pakistan skipper Babar Azam and former pace ace Shoaib Akhtar who have backed Kohli to come out of his prolonged lean patch.
‘Taking a break from WI tour was right thing to do’
Kohli will not feature in the five-match T20I series against the West Indies, to be played in the Caribbean and the United States from July 29. Former England spinner Ashley Giles said the break will do the struggling batter a world of good.
“There is only so much noise when Kohli fails because of the player he is and the record he has, everyone knows what he is capable of,” Giles told ‘ESPNCricinfo’. “He’s clearly struggling right now. He’s taking a break from the West Indies series and I think it’s the right thing.
“The schedules currently are pretty crazy for most teams in the world and particularly for some of the bigger sides like India and England. “I think it’s good management. Rahul Dravid is a very bright individual and you have to look after your top players.” Earlier this month, former England captain Michael Vaughan had said that Kohli looks like “he needs to take a three-month sabbatical” from cricket.
Giles said the Indian team will benefit if Kohli returns to the side rejuvenated ahead of the T20 World Cup.
“You are never sure when these individuals will need a break and right now it looks Kohli needs a break. You need him firing, fresh and ready to go when that World Cup comes around.
“You don’t forget to bat but sometimes you are in a circus called cricket and the pressure is always on. I think it is the right move to get him out and give him some rest.”