Former Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) captain Kevin Pietersen said that he wasn’t surprised by India batter Virat Kohli’s batting woes in the last couple of years. Kohli has been going through a lean patch with his batting performance as his Test average dropped below 50 after the conclusion of the Sri Lanka Test series.
The talk of his 71st international century is the talking point of every corner around the nation. The last time Kohli reached the three-figure mark was against Bangladesh in the Pink-Ball Day-Night Test in November 2019.
Virat Kohli is an exhibitionist and an entertainer: Kevin Pietersen
Kohli amassed 405 runs at a strike rate of 119.46 and an average of 28.92 in IPL 2021 for RCB. Pietersen, who played with Kohli at RCB in the early years of the IPL, cited the absence of crowd from the stands as the reason for the star batter’s dip in runs.
“I’m not going to judge anybody on their performances over the last couple of years. The unique circumstances that cricket has been played in has not assisted certain individuals and the way that they play,” Pietersen wrote in his column for Betway.
“Virat Kohli is an exhibitionist and an entertainer, and he needs crowds singing his name and going crazy at every one of his runs to get him going. He needs to know that people are there to watch him as he wants to provide them with that entertainment. When you take that away, I’m not surprised that he has struggled,” he added.
Kevin Pietersen feels Virat Kohli relinquishing RCB captaincy will help him
Kohli stepped down from RCB’s captaincy role at the end of the IPL 2021 last year and South African batter Faf du Plessis replaced him as the new leader of the team this season. Pietersen believes that Kohli will be relieved from the captaincy stress and will focus on giving his best for the fans.
“Hopefully, the return of crowds at this event is the start of things getting back to normal. If so, he’ll go back to being the greatest – because he is the greatest. The burden of captaincy being taken away from him at RCB may help, too. He can focus purely on entertaining the fans who adore him so much,” Pietersen said.
RCB will kick off their IPL 2022 campaign on Sunday when they face Mayank Agarwal-led Punjab Kings at Dr DY Patil Sports Academy in Navi Mumbai.