'We want more from Virat. Just get away and freshen up the mind': Australia legend joins 'Kohli needs a break' debate
- Virat Kohli endured a mediocre IPL season as he scored runs at a below-par average of 22.73 despite opening the innings in most games.
Virat Kohli's inconsistent spell with the willow has been a hot topic of debate lately. The talismanic cricketer, who once led the batting charts in all three formats, has appeared a pale shadow of his former self in recent times. Kohli, who hasn't scored an international hundred for nearly three years, is battling his career's worst slump, having managed just 341 runs in 16 IPL games. His IPL 2022 ended after Royal Challengers Bangalore's seven-wicket defeat by Rajasthan Royals in the Qualifier-2 on Friday. IPL 2022 Full Coverage
The 33-year-old Kohli endured a subdued season as he scored runs at a below-par average of 22.73 despite opening the innings in most games. His mediocre run has left pundits and fans pondering over the need for a 'break'. Former Australia speedster Brett Lee has also joined the debate, saying the mercurial batter can consider taking some rest and freshen up his mind.
"Do I say it is a concern, I do. I would like him (Kohli) to be scoring more runs of course," Lee told PTI on Saturday about Kohli's lean patch.
Kohli was beaten by the bounce of Prasidh Krishna and edged a simple catch after scoring just seven in Qualifier-2. He managed to gather just two half-centuries in 16 games this season.
"The hardest thing is when Virat Kohli doesn't score runs, generally the team doesn't do well. When we see Kohli had that purple patch, when he got 800-900 runs in that season (IPL 2016) his team (Royal Challengers Bangalore) fared pretty well. We want more from Kohli.
"A strong Kohli is a strong team. Unfortunately, he missed out in the semis; he could not get his team to cross the line of his own bat, getting less than 10 runs.
"Maybe (it is) a chance for Kohli to go back and try work on a few things and maybe just have a rest from cricket. Just get away and just freshen up the mind," added Lee, who is the brand ambassador of 'Sportsbet.io'.
Lee further heaped praise on the current crop of Indian pacers comprising the likes of Umran Malik, Mohsin Khan and Arshdeep Singh. The Australia great pointed out how the nation, once known for its spin attack, is witnessing the emergence of genuine pacers.
"The two Khan boys (Mohsin and Avesh) have got real talent. The one thing that Indian cricket is producing is a nice catalogue of fast bowlers. I like that. They have got good spin options as well but certainly, if you are looking forward to the T20 World Cup in Australia, you want guys that can bowl fast on the fast bouncy wickets," opined Lee.
Umran made waves in the ongoing IPL edition with his raw pace. He clocked the 150 kph mark consistently and ended up picking 22 wickets for Sunrisers Hyderabad. Lee wants to see the Jammu quick play the longer format for India.
"Look he has been fantastic, what Umran Malik delivers is pure pace. I wish him well and I am hoping that he gets the opportunity to play the longer format of the game as well," Lee further added.