Former Indian batsman Dilip Vengsarkar reckons Virat Kohli’s lean patch has been going on for too long and now the star batsman needs to step up in the upcoming Asia Cup 2022, in the UAE.
India’s opening game in the continental tournament will be against Pakistan on Sunday, in Dubai – the same venue where Babar Azam’s team thrashed Virat Kohli’s by 10 wickets at the T20 World Cup last year.
All eyes will once be fixated on Virat Kohli and how the 33-year-old goes about his business with the bat in hand.
“Virat Kohli is one of the best players in the world and I am a huge fan. Unfortunately, he hasn’t scored runs since the last IPL and has failed miserably. I think his lean patch is going far too long,” Dilip Vengsarkar said in an interaction with Gulf News.
Though Kohli’s century drought has extended to over 1000 days, until a few months before he was getting fifties regularly and only that a big score – the 71st century – was missing.
However, as Vengsarkar mentioned, Kohli’s numbers since the IPL are disappointing: in the IPL 2022, the RCB batsman managed an ordinary average of 22 and strike rate of 115; the IPL was followed by a dismal England tour, where he couldn’t score more than 20 in any of his 6 innings.
Vengsarkar, though, is hoping that Kohli not only comes back to his best against Pakistan but also smashed a century.
“He is a great player. I hope he scores a hundred against Pakistan. It is very important. I am sure he has prepared well. I just met him in BKC [in Mumbai], he was practising indoors and he looked lean and fit, absolutely raring to go,” said the 66-year-old.
India won’t be missing Bumrah: Dilip Vengsarkar
Vengsarkar also touched upon India’s lack of strength in the bowling department due to the losses of Jasprit Bumrah and Harshal Patel, both the pacers are ruled out of the Asia Cup due to injuries.
The former batsman, though, isn’t worried about that: he feels that India have got a good bench strength in Bumrah and Harshal’s absence – Arshdeep Singh and Avesh Khan are the two pacers supporting Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Hardik Pandya in the squad.
“I would say that India has fantastic bench strength because if you see at IPL, they have discovered a lot of pace bowlers. There are plenty of options now as far as fast bowling and good spinners are concerned. I think we won’t be missing anybody [like Jasprit Bumrah] for that matter,” said Vengsarkar.