Why BCCI can’t drop Virat Kohli: Indian batsmen Virat Kohli has not been in a big run for nearly three years now. Fans are still eagerly waiting for him to take off his helmet, stretch his arms, and roar to celebrate a century.
Virat Kohli is facing bad times, going by his own lofty standards with the bat, he scored an international century way back in November 2019.
A comeback knock was expected from Kohli in the fifth Test (rescheduled Test) against England but that didn’t happen.
He failed to raise his bat once again. He scored just 11 in the first innings and 20 in the second in the crucial Test, which England went on to win to level the Test series at 2-2.
Though his overall career Test average still reads a healthy 49.53, his average in the last year has been below 30.
Kohli, in the last one year, has played 10 Tests and batted 18 times. Of these 10 Tests, 3 have been at home and 7 away. He has scored 527 runs in these 18 innings, at an average of 29.27.
TimesofIndia.com caught up with Panesar, who played 50 Tests, 26 ODIs, and 1 T20I for England between 2006 and 2013, for an exclusive interview and spoke to him about Kohli’s poor run with the bat, his T20 World Cup future, and much more…Virat Kohli has not really been among the big runs for a while now. The chorus of voices criticising him is growing louder by the day…
The difficulty here is that he is the most marketable cricketer in the world. He is probably the one who entered that space after Sachin Tendulkar. So, from a financial perspective, of course, everybody just wants to watch your Virat Kohli bat or see him on the field. Fans love him a lot.
We all just love Virat and his intensity. Sometimes, it’s borderline but he’s very much admired in England. So, from the BCCI’s perspective, they’ve got to sit down and decide. When Virat Kohli plays, stadiums are full of sponsors.
From a financial perspective, other boards gained so much from Virat Kohli. But is Virat really good for the India side right now? That’s the biggest question that the BCCI needs to sit down with the selectors and work out – that when it comes to the big tournaments, like T20 World Cup or (ODI) World Cup, from a sponsorship perspective, they probably make more money.
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Are BCCI under pressure too, regardless of whatever the result and role Virat Kohli has to play, to keep the sponsors happy? That’s probably the biggest question. They can’t drop him or afford to drop him because they’ll probably lose huge financial sponsorship.
As younger players keep performing when given chances, how highly would you rate Kohli’s chances of being included in the T20 World Cup squad, as things stand right now?
Virat should be in the squad. He should be traveling to Australia because you need Virat in the big global tournaments. He’s an ambassador of the game. So, you need him there. Whether he is playing or not playing, he should be there as a squad member. He needs to have a chat with Dravid.
He should ask whether he would fit in the top 11 or if he should be there as a squad member. His experience being there can just actually give that confidence to the youngsters who play. Virat can play the role of MS Dhoni. He can be a guiding force for the youngsters.
Virat does bring so many other elements to the side. He didn’t have a good time in the last few months. Be it captaincy or anything. Virat and BCCI need to just sort this (out) completely. Rohit and Dravid are making plans to win the World Cup.
How can Kohli regain his lost mojo?
Virat should talk to Sachin. He admires him and respects him. He can have a chat with Yuvraj Singh (also).
Virat respects Yuvraj a lot. Virat should speak to Yuvraj and Sachin. These two people can help him. He should come and see me and have a chat and we can maybe go for dinner.
He should talk to someone who is completely outside of the game of cricket.
I wouldn’t mind having a chat with him. These kinds of things can just help him. Virat needs to work out in his head and be honest with himself. ‘Why am I not playing well?’ He needs to ask himself that. You can see this in the body language. I don’t know if he’s got anyone there that he can have that honest conversation (with).
He’s probably fearful. If he goes back into Ranji Trophy and doesn’t perform well, he may have a tough time then. Virat is going through a rough phase. But a player like Virat needs just one innings to regain everything. His main aim is to win the T20 World Cup and then the 50-over World Cup.
BCCI can’t afford to drop Virat Kohli because they’ll probably lose huge financial sponsorship: Monty Panesar
At present, he is a guy who is struggling for form, plays a few good shots but then just gets out. He’s not that same player. Cricket fans around the world always think of him as – ‘Oh yeah, that’s Virat Kohi, an intense cricketer, with unbelievable shots’, and everything like that. But it’s been a while for him since he’s played that sort of style of cricket. His strength is his brand. Whether he scores runs, he doesn’t score runs, all eyes will be on him. The Indian team needs him right now.
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