Babar Azam extends support to Virat Kohli as he struggles with form


LAHORE – Pakistan cricket team captain Babar Azam has extended his support to former Indian captain Virat Kohli, who is struggling with his form these days.

Kohli, who has been a run machine for India and has starred in many wins for his side, has now lost his mojo and has been struggling to score big runs for a year. He is also facing criticism from the media and several members of the cricket fraternity have suggested he should take a break from international cricket.

Pakistan’s all-format captain Azam showed his support for Kohli and tweeted “this too shall pass.”

“As a player (tough) times can fall on you as well,” Azam said ahead of his side s opening Test in Sri Lanka.

“I know how a player goes through such times and how he comes out of it. So he needs support in those times and as a player I tweeted to support him.”

Azam, who is often compared to Kohli for his prolific run-scoring, added: “He is one of the best player and he knows how to come out this. It takes time but we should back him.”

Former cricketers including Kapil Dev have said Kohli should be dropped and youngsters given a chance to prove their worth in a competitive Indian team.

India captain Rohit Sharma, however, has backed his senior batsman to bounce back soon.

“He has been such a great batsman, he doesn t need reassurances,” Rohit said after his team s ODI loss to England on Thursday.

“Form does go up and down, it s part (and) parcel of a player s life. It s just a matter of one or two innings” for Kohli, he added.

Sourav Ganguly, president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, said Kohli “has got to find his way” to score runs again.

Many former players, including Ashish Nehra, believe the star batsman should take a prolonged break to get his batting mojo back.

Kohli, who has hit 27 centuries in 102 Tests since making his debut in 2011, has endured a torrid 12 months that also saw him replaced as India s captain.

In his recent match on Thursday, Kohli only scored 16 runs off 25 deliveries and hit three boundaries in the second ODI against England at Lord’s.

Kohli relinquished the Indian Test team captaincy following the T20 World Cup in 2021. Furthermore, he also decided to step down as captain of RCB. The captaincy was then handed to Rohit Sharma.

It is pertinent to mention here that the Indian Cricket Board on Thursday announced their squad for the T20I series againts West Indies and Kohli was missing in the squad. While the national selectors did not clarify whether the top-order batter had finally been dropped or was merely being rested over injury concerns ahead of the T20 World Cup in Australia.