London: India skipper Rohit Sharma has once again come out in support of Virat Kohli after the batter was out for 16 in the second ODI against England to extend his prolonged lean patch. At the post-match press conference following the team’s 100-run drubbing to England here on Thursday, Rohit looked agitated as he interrupted […]
London: India skipper Rohit Sharma has once again come out in support of Virat Kohli after the batter was out for 16 in the second ODI against England to extend his prolonged lean patch.
At the post-match press conference following the team’s 100-run drubbing to England here on Thursday, Rohit looked agitated as he interrupted a scribe even before he could complete his question on Kohli’s poor run of form.
“Kyun ho rahi hain, yaar. Matlab mujhe samajh mein nahi aata, bhai. (Why is there so much of discussion… I can’t understand this),” Rohit said. “He has played so many matches, over such a long period of time. He is such a great batter, so he does not need reassurance.” If Rohit’s support was not enough, his English counterpart Jos Buttler too backed Kohli to regain his touch, and said a big knock is “always due” from a player of his calibre.
Making a comeback after sitting out the first ODI because of a groin strain, Kohli was dismissed after striking three boundaries at Lord’s, once again leading to discussions on his poor form. In the preceding T20I series Kohli had scores of 1 and 11, and was also dismissed cheaply in the fifth Test against England, forcing legends such as Kapil Dev to wonder why he could not be dropped.
But Rohit maintained the the Indian No. 3 does not need any reassurance and his spot in the team is secure. “As I have said previously, form can go up and down, it’s part and parcel for every cricketer’s career. Even the greatest of the cricketer would have his share of ups and downs.
“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. I know there’s been discussions going on but we have to understand we have seen for years, players go through ups and downs, but quality never goes away, we have to keep that in mind.”
“Look at his past records, the number of hundreds, his average. He has the experience. You have slump even in personal life.” Just before the Indian team arrived at Lord’s for the second match, the BCCI had announced the squad for the upcoming T20I series in the West Indies, which did not include Kohli.
It is said that he had asked for rest. Echoing Rohit’s views, Buttler too backed the 33-year-old Kohli. “I suppose in a little way it’s 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 player in ODI cricket in the world,” the English skipper said.
“So he’s been a fantastic player for so many years and all batters, it just proves, go through runs of form where they don’t perform as well as they can do sometimes, but certainly as an opposition captain, you know a player of that class is always due, so you’re hoping that it doesn’t come against us,” said Buttler.
Opting to field, the Rohit-led side had England tottering for 148/6 only to let them recover to 246. The total proved more than enough as India suffered a top-order collapse before being bundled out for 146 in 38.5 overs. “This is also a challenge for us, whenever we lose five-six early wickets we too have to learn how our lower order too can make runs,” he said.