Matthew Hayden Took A Dig At Ravi Shastri: Former India head coach Ravi Shastri has been the premier advocate of suggesting that Virat Kohli needs and should take a break from cricket as, he feels, the Royal Challengers Bangalore batsman is “overcooked” for having played so much of cricket in recent times.
The debate sparked up once again as Kohli bagged this third golden duck of the IPL 2022 season – when he was dismissed on his first ball by Sunrisers Hyderabad’s Jagadeesha Suchith – and now he has managed 216 runs in 12 innings at a dismal average of 19.63 – six other RCB batters have a better average than Kohli’s – while striking at only 111.
Matthew Hayden, though, disagrees with Shastri and in fact took a dig at him when the topic of Kohli needing a break was being discussed in the commentary bix between Hayden, Harsha Bhogle and Sunil Gavaskar during the RCB-SRH game after Kohli’s wicket.
During the second over of the match, Harsha Bhogle brought up Ravi Shastri’s point, saying: “Ravi Shastri suggested that Virat Kohli needs a break.”
Matthew Hayden quipped: “Does he say the same about Rohit Sharma?” The Mumbai Indians captain and opener is also going through a lean patch, averaging 18 in 11 innings.
Hayden continued, “I mean these guys are playing cricket all the time, of course these tournaments, they come around so quickly, you get yourself into a mental space and Kohli has been brilliant at it for so many years, so animated, so passionate. To come off that though just for a moment and you are under pressure.”
The Australian said that no player will willingly ask the management or selectors for a break because they are not doing well, citing the example of David Warner who has been in superb form after his poor IPL season last year.
“It takes so much courage as well, no player ever believes that they can go to the selector and go, ‘sorry, I need to be out’ because you wanna play, you wanna be that person to take control of the innings. It is so frustrating when you are getting into a little rut, you cannot find ways out. Sometimes it can be an explosive cover drive, a great pull shot or in Virat Kohli’s case, just a fantastic one or two with hard and positive body language like David Warner,” Hayden added.
Bhogle replied to the Aussie that there could be some merit in Shastri’s advice because he knows Kohli very well having worked closely for the past 4-5 years.
“The only reason I brought that up, Ravi and Virat have known each other so well over the last 3-4 years, have run a lot of campaigns together, been very good at Test cricket. He knows the inner mind,” Bhogle replied to Hayden.
The legendary Sunil Gavaskar made his opinion that he doesn’t mind Kohli taking a break as long as he’s not missing games for India. “As long as the break does not mean that you are missing India matches. India matches have to be No.1 every single time, as simple as that,” Gavaskar said.
Despite Kohli’s underwhelming form this season, RCB are sitting at the number 4 spot with 14 points in 12 matches and will hope for the ‘King’ to be back in his beast mode as the playoffs get closer.