IPL 2022: Pietersen backs Kohli to rediscover his form

Kohli, generally a prolific run-getter, has not managed to score a half-century in this season's IPL



Sunrisers Hyderabad batting coach Brian Lara talks to Virat Kohli after the match between Sunrisers and Royal Challengers Bangalore. (BCCI)
Sunrisers Hyderabad batting coach Brian Lara talks to Virat Kohli after the match between Sunrisers and Royal Challengers Bangalore. (BCCI)

By AFP

Published: Sun 24 Apr 2022, 10:01 PM

Former England captain Kevin Pietersen has backed Virat Kohli to rediscover his form after the Indian batting superstar was out on the first ball for the second straight match in the Indian Premier League on Saturday.

The former Indian captain’s lean patch continued in the IPL when he was caught behind off South Africa fast bowler Marco Jansen for a golden duck during Royal Challengers Bangalore’s humiliating defeat to Sunrisers Hyderabad.

Kohli, generally a prolific run-getter, has not managed to score a half-century in this season’s 10-team Twenty20 tournament, aggregating 119 runs after eight games.

The 33-year-old, who has scored over 23,500 international runs for India, was out on the first ball against Lucknow Super Giants and on Saturday he edged the fast ball he faced from Jansen at the Brabourne Stadium.

Bangalore were bundled out for just 68 with Jansen and T Natarajan picking up three wickets each. Hyderabad batters chased down the target in just eight overs for the loss of one wicket for their fifth consecutive victory.

The Kane Williamson-led Hyderabad climbed up to second spot in the IPL table with 10 points while Bangalore occupy fourth — the final spot for the playoffs — with the same points.

Kohli, who has stepped down as India and Bangalore captain in recent months, was expected to dominate the run-scoring charts without the burden of leadership on his shoulders.

But his repeated failures prompted pundits like former India coach Ravi Shastri to suggest that the right-handed batter was “overcooked” and needed a break.

Bangalore coach Sanjay Bangar said Kohli was doing “everything in his control” to get out of the slump while former India captain Mohammed Azharuddin joined the chorus imploring the batter to be rested.

“Virat Kohli deserves a much needed break from some matches. A little rest should rejuvenate him,” Azharuddin said on Twitter after Saturday’s match.

And Pietersen, working as a commentator for IPL’s broadcaster, also shared his opinion on Twitter.

“You want a fact? Every single great of our game has been through what Virat is going through,” he said in a tweet.

“Want another fact? They all get through it and deliver on the big stage again ...”


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