Mouths will be shut if Virat Kohli gets a fifty in 1st game against Pakistan at Asia Cup: Ravi Shastri
Former India head coach Ravi Shastri has come down heavily on Virat Kohli's critics amid his ongoing lean patch in international cricket. Underfire Kohli has been on the receiving end of intense criticism from all corners for his poor form as he has failed to score runs consistently across formats and has gone without scoring an international century for over 1,000 days now.
However, Shastri believes a player of Kohli's stature needs just one good game to turn things around. The former India head coach believes the chatter around Kohli's form will end if the senior batter manages to score a half-century in his team's opener against Pakistan in the upcoming Asia Cup 2022.
Kohli is currently on a break and will return to action in the Asia Cup which gets underway in the UAE on August 27 (Saturday). India will open their campaign against arch-rivals Pakistan in a much-awaited clash at the Dubai International Stadium on August 28. Ahead of his return, Shastri backed Kohli to shut his critics with the willow.
"I haven’t spoken to Virat Kohli recently but the ‘big guys’ always wake up at the right time. The downtime for Kohli was good before the Asia Cup gave him a good chance to reflect. If he manages to get a fifty in the match against Pakistan, mouths will be shut," Shastri said speaking about Kohli's form on Star Sports.
"One innings can make a difference. He needs one innings to get back because the hunger is undiminished. What's happened in the past is history. Remember public memory is very short," Ravi Shastri said in a presser arranged by Star Sports ahead of the Asia Cup," he added.
Kohli last featured for India during their tour of England earlier this year where the star batter flopped in all three formats. He opted for a break following the conclusion of the series amid significant criticism and calls for him to be dropped from India's T20 squad.
Kohli missed India's tour of the West Indies and the recently-concluded ODI series against Zimbabwe and is gearing up to make his comeback against Pakistan on August 28. Backing him to find his form, Shastri hailed Kohli as the fittest in the Indian team and said there is no question why he cannot bounce back.
"Kohli is the fittest player in the Indian team and nobody can match Virat Kohli's work ethic the way he trained. He is a machine. No question, he will definitely come back in his best form. His hunger and passion are unbelievable," Shastri said.