‘I backed Kohli throughout his loss of form. But need him to have a day off in semis’: England great’s stunning claim
Virat Kohli has finally brushed aside the poor form that bogged him down for the last one year. Kohli, undergoing a major slump in the first half of 2022, returned to his sublime best during the Asia Cup in September.
He scores two fifties and a century – his first in more than three years – en route to becoming the leading run-scorer of the tournament. And if that wasn’t enough to convince the naysayers, in the ongoing T20 World Cup, Kohli is continuing where he left off in the UAE. With 246 runs, Kohli is leading the charts with three half-centuries at a staggering average of 123, and the former captain has played a huge role in India’s road to the semi-final.
As the focus shifts towards India’s next stop – the semifinal against England, Kevin Pietersen has made a rather unique remark. The former England captain reminded that he supported and stood up for Kohli during his lean phase, but now wants him to have an off day on Thursday at the Adelaide Oval. While Pietersen is thrilled like countless others to see the return of the King, the former maverick batter wouldn’t mind of Kohli’s bat remains quiet against his team.
– ‘I hope Suryakumar Yadav doesn’t get a big score against England’: Ex-Australia batter ahead of India’s T20 WC semifinal
“I backed Kohli throughout the little loss of form that he had, and he’s had a lot to deal with. He is an entertainer, he needs crowds, he needs that buzz, he needs that excitement. He didn’t have that for a few years, and he lost his way. But the crowds are in, it’s a T20 World Cup in Australia – one of the greatest places to play T20 cricket – and the King is back. As a close friend, I’m very happy for him, but I just need Virat to have a day off,” Pietersen wrote in his blog for Betway.
Outside of the India vs England final, Pietersen is chuffed to see Kohli back to his menacing best. In fact, Pietersen reckons Kohli’s impeccable form is rubbing off on his teammates. Besides Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav has been another sensation for India in the World Cup as he is third on the list of the tournament’s highest run-scorer, with KP stating that Kohli’s return to form has played a key role in SKY batting the way he is.
“It’s just so good to see the greatest current player back in the runs, not only from India’s perspective, but for the world of cricket. For India, he’s such a major component for them to start seeing some consistency. When Virat plays well, the other players start to perform around him. You saw that with Suryakumar Yadav and the innings he played against Zimbabwe; it was just spectacular. When your talisman is back, it helps massively,” added Pietersen.