New Delhi- Pakistan captain Babar Azam has backed Virat Kohli to come out of his prolonged lean patch, saying the former India skipper needs support from all quarters to ride out his barren run.
Kohli, who is yet to score a hundred in close to three years, is yet to fire in the limited overs in England with the final ODI to be played on Sunday.
Pakistan skipper Babar, however, extended his full support to an out-of-form Kohli.
“I just feel that in the present situation Kohli needs support and to be backed. I tweeted wishing him best because I know how a player feels when he is going through this period and he needs the support of everyone,” Babar said at a pre-match press conference ahead of Pakistan’s first Test against Sri Lanka in Galle.
Babar was asked about Kohli in the media interaction following his late night tweet in support of Kohli. “This too shall pass. Stay strong,” the 27-year-old wrote.
Babar’s support for Kohli came after current Indian captain Rohit Sharma also threw his weight behind his predecessor.
“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,” Rohit said at the post-match press conference on Thursday.
Saying that a cricketer of Kohli’s calibre does not need any reassurance from anyone, Rohit added, “He has played so many matches, over such a long period of time. He is such a great batter.”
Kohli also received backing from England captain Buttler who maintained that just like every cricketer, it is important to keep in mind the former is “human” and can have a couple of low scores before getting back into form once again.
“I suppose in a little way it is 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 in ODI cricket in the world,” Buttler said.
“So, he has been a fantastic player for so many years and all batters, it just proves, they go through runs of form where they do not perform as well as they do sometimes, but certainly as an opposition captain, you know a player of that class is always due, so you are hoping it does not come against us,” Buttler added.
Kohli has managed to score only 158 runs from seven ODI games so far this year with only two fifties to his name. The 33-year-old though remains in the third position in the ICC ODI rankings behind Pakistan’s Babar and Imam ul Haq.
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