Former Indian cricketer and opener Gautam Gambhir came out in defence of Virat Kohli amid the latter’s poor run of form.
Gambhir said on Sunday that even though the Indian skipper hasn’t scored an international century in a while, he has made some crucial half-centuries.
The former batsman also observed that the scrutiny on Virat Kohli is from the fact that the country is obsessed with centuries.
Kohli hasn’t scored an international hundred since November 2019. In the first T20I against England, he recorded a five-ball duck which was his third in his last five innings across formats.
Speaking on Star Sports, Gambhir pointed out at Virat Kohli’s 74 against Australia in Adelaide and two fifties in the recently concluded Test series against England.
“You’ve got to remember that India have played Test cricket on difficult wickets. Apart from Rohit Sharma and Rishabh Pant, none of the other batsmen could score consistently in the Tests. And Kohli obviously sets such high standards for himself that we talk about form when he doesn’t score hundreds. He has been scoring fifties. He scored a fifty in Adelaide and also got two fifties against England. Yes, he didn’t get a hundred and perhaps that’s why there’s a lot of debate going around. India are obsessed with hundreds,” said Gautam Gambhir.
Gautam Gambhir thought that Virat Kohli could play more freely in the remaining T20Is because he has dependable players.
“And I believe this format is such that it will allow him to play freely. He’s got a Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya, who can take the pressure off him,” said Gautam Gambhir.
After the first T20I wherein India lost by eight wickets, Virat Kohli acknowledged his performance and said it was a part of his long journey in international cricket. Kohli also added that he will stick to his plans and come back stronger next game.
“It’s part of the journey of international cricket. When you play for that long, you have ups and downs. On your day, you will end up scoring much more, sometimes it doesn’t come off. But the important thing is to stay true to your intent and plans as a batsman and accept that the bowling team can come out and execute their plans better than you. For me, it has always been about going out there and trying to be as positive as I can,” said Virat Kohli.
The second T20I between India and England would be held at Ahmedabad on Sunday.