If I get 20 minutes with Virat Kohli, I will be able to help him: Sunil Gavaskar

Legendary India cricketer Sunil Gavaskar said he is open to helping Virat Kohli overcome his lean patch, adding he might have an idea about what is hampering the star batter’s form across all formats of the game. Gavaskar said his inputs might help Kohli overcome the much-talked-about dip in form.

Speaking to India Today a day after India’s 2-1 ODI series win in England, Sunil Gavaskar said all that he needs is 20 minutes with Virat Kohli to discuss what he believes is bogging the star batter down.

Elaborating on Virat Kohli’s struggles in the recent past, Gavaskar said the nagging line outside the off-stump is troubling the modern-day great and the “anxiety” to return to scoring form is making things worse for him.

Gavaskar’s comments come even as Kohli is going through one of the leanest phases of his career. The star batter managed just 33 runs in 2 ODIs in the recently-concluded ODI series and 12 runs across 2 T20Is. Kohli returned from a break for the much-anticipated Birmingham Test but the star batter managed just 31 runs across 2 innings as his century drought has extended beyond 2 years.

“If I had about 20 minutes with him, I would be able to tell him the things he might have to do. It might help him, I am not saying it will help him but it could, particularly with regards to that off-stump line,” Gavaskar told India Today.

“Having been an opening batter, having been troubled by that line, there are certain things that you try and do. If I get 20 minutes with him, I might be able to tell him.

“It goes back to the fact that his first mistake turns out to be his last. Again, just because he is not amongst the runs, there is this anxiety to play at every delivery because that is what batters feel, they have got to score. You look to play at deliveries that you otherwise won’t. But he has gotten out to good deliveries as well on this particular tour,” he added.

‘KOHLI IS ALLOWED A FEW FAILURES’

Virat Kohli will not be part of India’s ODI and T20I squads for the tour of West Indies, starting July 22. The star batter has been rested for the 3 ODIs and 5 T20Is and is expected to return only for the Asia Cup T20 later this year.

Gavaskar has been a strong advocate of not missing international fixtures to regain form but the former captain said it’s time to be patient with a legendary player like Virat Kohli.

“I think we just have to wait and see when he comes back, whether it helps or not helps. As I said, he is allowed a few failures, look at his record for India, 70 international hundreds. I mean, he has got runs in all formats of the game, in all conditions,” Gavaskar added.

“Let’s be patient, let’s not rush things. We, somehow in India, hurry once a player reaches 32, 33, we all the time, look to push him out of the team when they have so much more to contribute. Let’s be patient with Kohli as well. All these greats who have served Indian cricket are allowed a few failures.”

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