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‘Virat Kohli is overcooked, needs a break’ – Ravi Shastri attributes batting failure to ‘fried brain’

Virat Kohli’s poor run of form shows no sign of letting up. Yesterday he fell for a first-ball duck against Dushmantha Chameera during Royal Challengers Bangalore’s game against Lucknow Super Giants. Indian batting legend and former coach Ravi Shastri believes that Virat Kohli is ‘overcooked’ and needs a break, whether it occurs before after the England tour in July.

Kohli’s most recent scores for RCB read 0, 12 and 1. He has two forty-plus scores from his last seven innings, but hasn’t managed to cross 12 runs in any of the remaining games. To make things worse, his first-ball duck left RCB two wickets down in two balls, in tatters at 7-2 in the first over of their innings. Yesterday’s was his first golden duck since 2017, when he fell first ball to Nathan Coulter-Nile during a game against Kolkata Knight Riders.

Ravi Shastri believes players must be treated with extra care in light of pandemic restrictions

“I am going straight to the main guy here. Virat Kohli is overcooked. If anyone needs a break, it’s him,” Shastri told Star Sports on Tuesday. “Whether it’s two months or a month and a half, whether it’s after¬† England or before England – he needs a break because he has got six-seven years of cricket left in him and you don’t want to lose that with a fried brain.”

Virat Kohli has now played a hundred games across formats – 17 Tests, 21 ODIs, 25 T20Is, and 37 IPL matches – without scoring a ton. His drought for the 71st century has carried on since November 2019. Ravi Shastri acknowledges that the bio-bubble is an important factor in a player’s mental state, and that the situation must be handled as delicately as possible.

“When I was coach at the time when this first started, the first thing I said is ‘you have to show empathy to the guys’,” Shastri explained. “If you’re going to be forceful, there is a very thin line there, from a guy losing the plot as opposed to him hanging in there and giving his best. So you have to be extremely careful.”

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