'Greats are allowed few failures': Gavaskar sends message to struggling Kohli; 'Might be able to tell him things if...'

By, New Delhi
Jul 18, 2022 10:53 PM IST

Kohli hasn't scored an international century since 2019 and has been under fire over his wretched run with the bat.

The multi-format series in England ended with India being crowned as white-ball champions. The visiting team on Sunday rode Rishabh Pant's magnificent ton to outwit the English side by five wickets and claim a 2-1 series success over the 50-over world champions. India had become just the third side to win an ODI series away to England since 2015, having already won the preceding T20I series. Also Read | 'Kapil Dev is very big name. But if Hardik keeps bowling like this...': Ex-India player's massive prediction for Pandya

Sunil Gavaskar and Virat Kohli (Getty Images)
Sunil Gavaskar and Virat Kohli (Getty Images)

India may have checked all right boxes but former skipper Virat Kohli's form remains a huge concern, with the next World T20 being just a few months away. The star batter could manage scores of only 11 and 20 in the fifth Test against Edgbaston and continued his mediocre performances in T20Is, where he could score only 12 runs in two innings.

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Amid growing calls for break and ouster, the 33-year-old notched up 17 and 16 runs in the three-match ODI rubber. Kohli hasn't scored an international century since 2019 and has been under fire over his wretched run with the bat.

Kohli's struggles with the off-stump line have been well documented but legendary Sunil Gavaskar feels his inputs might help the star batter overcome a prolonged slump.

"If I had about 20 minutes with him, I would be able to tell him the things he might have to do. It might help him, I am not saying it will help him but it could, particularly with regards to that off-stump line," Gavaskar told India Today.

"Having been an opening batter, having been troubled by that line, there are certain things that you try and do. If I get 20 minutes with him, I might be able to tell him."

"It goes back to the fact that his first mistake turns out to be his last. Again, just because he is not amongst the runs, there is this anxiety to play at every delivery because that is what batters feel, they have got to score. You look to play at deliveries that you otherwise won't. But he has gotten out to good deliveries as well on this particular tour," he added.

Also Read | Rishabh Pant reveals conversation with Hardik Pandya during 133-run stand vs England: 'Just let our instincts take over'

In the third ODI on Sunday, Kohli feathered a Reece Topley delivery to Jos Buttler behind the stumps. His exit on 17 meant he has now gone 78 innings without reaching the three-figure score.

Former cricketers including Kapil Dev have said Kohli should be dropped and youngsters should be given a chance to prove their worth. Many even feel that the mercurial player deserves a break to rediscover his lost mojo. But Gavaskar underlined Kohli's 70 hundreds and asked everyone to be patient.

"I think we just have to wait and see when he comes back, whether it helps or not helps. As I said, he is allowed a few failures, look at his record for India, 70 international hundreds. I mean, he has got runs in all formats of the game, in all conditions," Gavaskar added.

"Let's be patient, let's not rush things. We, somehow in India, hurry once a player reaches 32, 33, we all the time, look to push him out of the team when they have so much more to contribute. Let's be patient with Kohli as well. All these greats who have served Indian cricket are allowed a few failures."

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