Nothing wrong with Virat Kohli's technique, says Azharuddin

Kohli, still looking to end his two-year wait for a century across formats, endured a poor IPL season with 341 runs from 16 matches at 22.73



Indian star Virat Kohli is going through a lean phase with the bat. (AFP)
Indian star Virat Kohli is going through a lean phase with the bat. (AFP)
by

Rituraj Borkakoty

Published: Wed 1 Jun 2022, 8:25 PM

Few people are more qualified in cricket than Mohammad Azharuddin when it comes to offering an insight into overcoming lean batting phases.

During his international career, the former Indian batsman often came out of bad patches with wondrous hundreds.

No wonder then that this batting wizard from Hyderabad believes Virat Kohli is just one big hundred away from regaining his confidence.

Kohli, still looking to end his two-year wait for a century across formats, endured a poor IPL season with 341 runs from 16 matches at 22.73.

But the 59-year-old Azharuddin has backed Kohli to rediscover his mojo.

“With Virat Kohli, what happens is that even if he scores a 50, people say he has failed,” Azhar told reporters in Dubai, referring to Kohli’s staggering consistency until two years ago.

“I think it happens to every cricketer, even the best of the players have gone through these lean periods.”

Azharuddin also dismissed concerns about Kohli’s apparent weakness in dealing with deliveries that pitch outside the off stump and move away.

“There is nothing wrong with his technique. Sometimes you also need a little bit of luck,” the former Indian captain said.

“If he gets one big score, a big hundred, the aggression and the confidence will come back.”

Consistency needed

While praising Hardik Pandya, who surprised the cricket world with his leadership skills, leading Gujarat Titans to IPL triumph in his first tournament as captain, Azharuddin said the all-rounder needed to show consistency for long periods.

“He has the ability, he has done well for the Indian team, but because of the injuries, he was not in the team consistently. He has come back now, he is bowling his four overs. How long he will bowl we really don’t know. But we definitely want him to bowl since he is an all-rounder,” he said.

“In the IPL final (against Rajasthan Royals), he completely changed the game, three wickets in four overs, then he scored 34 quick runs. He is a good talent, just needs that consistency.”

Another player that needs to show consistency, according to Azharuddin, is Hanuma Vihari who is aiming to establish himself as a regular top-order Test batsman.

“It’s very important for him to get the big scores,” said Azharuddin of Vihari who produced scores of 31, 35 and 58 in March against Sri Lanka after replacing Cheteshwar Pujara as India’s number three batsman.

“He has to score hundreds to grab the chance. Scoring only 50s and 60s is not really going to help him. He is an outstanding player. But you can play for India for a long time only when you get the big runs consistently.”


More news from Cricket