Australian cricket great Ricky Ponting has analyzed the form of former India captain Virar Kohli and has said that the batter is a great player and it’s only a matter of time before he rebounds and starts scoring the runs once more.
Virat Kohli last scored a century in international cricket in November 2019 and since then he has not been able to reach the three-figure mark. While he was making fifties and contributing to the Indian cause; since the start of 2022, that has even stopped and he even had to give up the Indian captaincy in T20Is and Tests, while being removed from captaincy in ODIs.
Speaking with Sanjana Ganesan on The ICC Review, Ponting said the upside for India should they stick with Kohli will be far greater than if they omit the right-hander from their squad for the ICC T20 World Cup in Australia later this year.
“I think if I was an opposition captain or an opposition player, I will be fearing playing an Indian team that has Virat Kohli in it, more than I would be one that doesn’t have him in it. “I know there have been some challenges for him, it’s been a difficult time.
But every great player that I have seen in this game has been through it at some stage, whether that’s a batsman or a bowler, they have all been through it. And somehow, the best (players) find a way to rebound and respond, and it’s only a matter of time before Virat does that,” Ponting said.
Now Or Never For Virat Kohli: Ricky Ponting
Ponting, who captained Australia to two World Cup triumphs in 2003 and 2007, said if India decides to leave out Kohli for the T20 World Cup in Australia then there might be no way back for him.
“If you leave Virat out of the eve of the World Cup, and someone comes in and has a reasonable tournament, it will be hard for Virat to get back in it. If I was India, I will keep pushing with him, because I know the upside. If they actually get him back confident and playing as well as he can, that upside is better than most. So I think if I was a captain or a coach around the Indian set up, I will be making life as easy as possible for him to feel as comfortable as possible, and just wait for him to flick the switch and start scoring runs again,” Ponting said.
The Runs Will Eventually Come For Virat Kohli: Ricky Ponting
Ponting also said that India must find a spot for Kohli in the top order and commit to leaving the champion batter there for the entirety of the T20 World Cup. The former Australia captain said that Kohli will eventually find his form back.
He said: “Early in the tournament, for a first-round game, (it’s important to) get him in nice and early, among the runs, and then hopefully by the end of the tournament you’ll have Virat Kohli back at his best. That’s the way I would look at it. I wouldn’t think about holding him back at the start of the tournament, with the thought that you might be able to bring him back towards the back end and have him peak. Tournament play isn’t like that.
You need to work your way into the tournament, get some runs under your belt, and get some confidence and then be playing your best cricket at the back end.”