Virat Kohli can rediscover form in India set-up, says Chris Gayle after IPL low
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Virat Kohli can rediscover form in India set-up, says Chris Gayle after IPL low

Chris Gayle is hopeful that Royal Challengers Bangalore teammate Virat Kohli will be able to rediscover his form with the Indian cricket team after a disappointing IPL 2017 campaign

ipl 2017 Updated: May 15, 2017 18:40 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
New Delhi
IPL 2017,Virat Kohli,Chris Gayle
Chris Gayle (R) backed Virat Kohli to bounce back with the Indian cricket team after a disappointing IPL 2017 campaign with Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB).(AP)

Returning to the national team setup will help India skipper Virat Kohlishake off the disappointment of the Royal Challengers Bangalore finishing last in the Indian Premier League points table, his teammate Chris Gayle said on Monday.

Virat Kohli single-handedly led RCB to the final of IPL 2016 but the Bangalore team managed just three wins in 14 matches as injury and form played a big role. Still, RCB never made a recovery despite the presence of match-winners Kohli, Gayle, AB de Villiers and Shane Watson.

READ | Virat Kohli wants to reflect and rebuild RCB after ‘forgettable’ IPL 2017

“He pointed out clearly, he is hurt like everyone else,” Gayle told HT during an interaction organised to promote fashion brand “As a leader you would like to stand out and his personality was such that it was going to stand out as well.

“If you are in that kind of losing streak, you are going to be lost for words. You just have to get it out of your system as quickly as possible. He will be in a different environment (India team), maybe that can help him get back in the groove again, among runs.”

Sudden dip in form

Kohli was in amazing form, scoring double centuries in Tests in four consecutive series, but lost touch in the series against Australia that followed before a shoulder injury kept him out of the initial IPL 2017 matches.

The man who hit four IPL centuries in 2016 finished with just 308 runs at an average of 30.80, in 10 matches.

READ | Royal Challengers Bangalore’s poor IPL 2017 had just ‘one plus point’

The Jamaican star was disappointed with his own contribution. He became the first player to complete 10,000 runs in T20 cricket, but managed just 203 runs in nine matches with one half-century.

“Feels very nice to achieve 10,000 T20 runs, to be in that bracket; be it the first person to do it in Test cricket, ODI or T20, it is fantastic. But it has been a disappointing IPL from a personal point of view and team point of view. No one thought this was going to happen, but it only shows in life nothing is guaranteed. You must always be ready for the unexpected. We just have to regroup and come back strongly.

Promise to return

Gayle, 37, said he had no plans to bid adieu as the IPL’s 10-year cycle ends. Among the players who have had the biggest impact in the league, the Jamaican said: “It has been good and bad for me in the 10 years. I missed a few years as well because of injury. At the same time, I have some great memories as well here. I definitely look forward to returning next year.

“It is the best thing to happen within cricket, IPL coming on board. All the players rejoice, enjoy it and benefit from it as well. I would like to continue to set IPL alight. I want to be the face of the entire IPL, give it some buzz as well.”

READ | Virat Kohli’s form crucial for India’s success in ICC Champions Trophy: Ricky Ponting

The IPL is expected to put all players into the pool for a mega auction next year. That could hit team loyalties and Gayle agreed it would be sad. However, he wasn’t sure there was a way out despite some team owners hoping the league bosses would allow them the right to match, which will help maintain team loyalties.

“It is difficult (retaining players) because, from my understanding Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals (ending two-year bans) are coming back and the two new teams that came on board (Rising Pune Supergiant and Gujarat Lions) might go on. Whatever agreement they come up with, it’s going to be a tricky one.”

First Published: May 15, 2017 18:36 IST