With scores of 1 and 11 in T20Is and a cheap dismissal in the fifth Test against England, Kohli’s place has been questioned by fans and former legends, although his captain is vehement that the right-arm class will definitely shine through eventually.
Speaking to reporters ahead of India’s ODI series with England, Rohit responded to Kohli’s critics.
“There will always be ups and downs in a cricketer’s form but a player’s quality will never fade away,” he said.
“We should always keep this in mind that there is a quality in certain players and we as a team back that quality.”
“When someone is scoring consistently for so long, we can’t overlook his contribution if he is not scoring in one or two series or in one or two years. We know the importance of Virat Kohli. The experts have got all the right to talk about it but for us these things don’t matter,” he added.
The comments come in the wake of several criticisms, most notably from Kapil Dev, who expressed that Kohli’s position was only safe based on the 33-year-old’s reputation.
“If world No.2 Test bowler (Ravichandran) Ashwin can be dropped from the Test side then your No.1 batter can also be dropped,” Kapil said.
The legendary all-rounder stressed that competing for places would yield a stronger India side, as they ramp up their preparation for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia later this year.
“If he isn’t performing, you can’t continue to keep these boys out. I hope there’s a healthy fight for selection, the youngsters should look to outperform Kohli. But Kohli needs to think, ‘yes at one point I was a big player, but I need to play like that No. 1 player again’. That’s a problem for the team, it’s not a bad problem,” he concluded.
Kohli in the meantime is in doubt for the first ODI as he tends to a groin injury sustained during the T20I series.
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