Only Dhoni messaged when I left Test captaincy: Virat Kohli
Veteran Virat Kohli seems to be getting his mojo back. He scored his second consecutive half-century in the Asia Cup, this time against Pakistan (Super Four). In the post-match conference, Kohli admitted that he is now in "good space". He also highlighted his long-standing alliance with former Indian skipper MS Dhoni. The 33-year-old revealed that once he left Test captaincy, only Dhoni contacted him.
Why does this story matter?
- Kohli, arguably the greatest batter of contemporary era, has been in hot water in terms of batting.
- Earlier this year, he stepped down as Team India's Test captain.
- The Indian batter was later replaced by Rohit Sharma as captain in all three formats.
- Several cricket experts and former players have had suggestions for Kohli.
- However, as per Kohli, none other Dhoni contacted him.
I got a message from only one person: Kohli
"When I left Test captaincy, I got a message from only one person, with whom I have played previously - that was MS Dhoni," Kohli said. Kohli stated that "lots of people give suggestions, people have a lot to say", but no one messaged him. "Neither was Dhoni insecure from me, nor I was insecure from him," added Kohli.
The smooth transition from Dhoni to Kohli
In 2014, Dhoni handed over the reins of India's Test side after retiring from the format. However, the former captain continued to lead in ODIs and T20Is until 2017. Kohli became India's all-format captain that year. The smooth transition from Dhoni to Kohli was hailed by the cricket fraternity. Kohli went on to become India's most successful captain in Test cricket.
An uncanny stat!
India have won 19 T20Is while chasing in the presence of both Kohli and Dhoni. The former averages 109.75 in these matches, a tally that includes nine half-centuries. Kohli returned unbeaten as many as 10 times.
'Suggestions have no value for me', says Kohli
In his statement, Kohli added that "if you give the suggestions in front of the world, it has no value for me". In July, Sunil Gavaskar, one of the greatest Indian batters, asserted that he could help Kohli revamp his technique "if I had about 20 minutes with him". Meanwhile, former Indian captain Kapil Dev questioned Kohli's place in the side.
'Tried to fake my intensity'
Ahead of the Asia Cup, Kohli opened up on his mental health. "I didn't think I'd go a month without touching my bat, but the situation became such that I had to take a break. More mentally than physically," he said in an interview with Star Sports. Kohli also realized that he was kind of "trying to fake my intensity a bit".
Kohli averages 77.00 in Asia Cup 2022
Kohli is en route to attaining consistency with the bat. At the 2022 Asia Cup, he has already scored two half-centuries (35 vs Pakistan, 59* vs Hong Kong, and 60 vs Pakistan). Kohli has had an overall strike rate of 126.22 in the ongoing tournament. He is India's leading run-scorer (154) and averages 77.00. Kohli is only behind Pakistan's Mohammad Rizwan (192).
Over 1,000 days since Kohli's last ton
On August 19, Kohli completed 1,000 days without scoring a ton. The Run Machine last slammed an international century in November 2019 during the Eden Gardens Test against Bangladesh. He hasn't scored a century at any level ever since.
Kohli's number since November 2019
Since November 2019 (his last international century), Kohli has scored 2,708 runs from 71 internationals at an average of 36.59. The tally includes 26 half-centuries. Kohli has an average of less than 30 in Test cricket in this period. In the hindsight, these are decent numbers for a top-order batter. However, we are accustomed to putting Kohli's standards in perspective.