India need Virat Kohli’s experience at T20 World Cup, hopefully he will regain his form: Ajit Agarkar

Former India fast bowler Ajit Agarkar has backed Virat Kohli to be part of India’s T20 World Cup squad, saying talks about his future in the shortest format of the game are ‘premature’. Agarkar said India will need Kohli’s experience on a big stage like the World Cup in Australia and that he hopes the former captain returns to form before India board the flight to Australia.

Virat Kohli has been rested for the 3-match ODI series and the subsequent 5-match T20I series in the West Indies in July-August after he had an underwhelming white-ball series and Test in England. Kohli was expected to get going after he was rested for the home series against South Africa following IPL 2022. However, Kohli scored only 31 runs across 2 innings in the Birmingham Test and 45 runs across 4 white-ball matches vs England.

Even as questions are being asked of frequent rest periods for Virat Kohli, the former skipper opted out of the T20I series after the big guns, including him and Rohit Sharma, were rested for the ongoing ODI series.

Virat Kohli has played only 4 matches in T20I cricket in 2022 as the pressure is mounting on him with the likes of Suryakumar Yadav and Deepak Hooda making strong claims with T20I hundreds in the ongoing year.

“He is getting starts. At the moment, he is finding new ways to get out. He knows how to score runs. At the moment, he is going through a lean patch which is the fact of life for every great player. Hopefully, for India’s sake, he gets back to form soon as there is a 50-over World Cup next year,” Ajit Agarkar told FanCode during the 1st ODI against the West Indies.

“He has got a bit of time till that World Cup. But you don’t want a great player like Virat Kohli to be out of form for long. Even in England, he got a couple of starts but I don’t think he has looked at his best. That’s why everyone is a little bit worried. Sometimes, great players find a way after they get starts but at the moment, he is not.

“I am sure there’s a little bit of worry. There’s a lot of talk about ‘Virat Kohli ko replace karle’, I think it’s not fair,” Agarkar added.


Furthermore, Agarkar said it’s unfair to question Virat Kohli just because young players are performing well while stressing that India will need the big-match player Down Under.

“No doubt that, that’s why I am saying it’s premature (Talks about replacing Virat Kohli). He is not getting runs, a few other players are performing, but come the World Cup in Australia, if India are 2 down, you want Virat Kohli in form, but you want a Virat Kohli batting there. Because he knows how to bat under pressure in the big stages,” he added.

“We have got some excellent young players who are doing well but that doesn’t mean you have to suddenly start questioning Virat Kohli. In World Cups, you need top players, you need experience. Hopefully, before that, he will get some runs. Once the confidence is there, he will find the Australian conditions the best to bat,” Agarkar said.

Notably, Virat Kohli is likely to return to the T20I squad for the Asia Cup, which will get underway in the final week of August in the UAE.

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