'Matter of time': Anjum Chopra on struggling Virat Kohli getting back in form

ANIUpdated: Saturday, July 23, 2022, 05:30 PM IST
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India captain Virat Kohli | (Photo by AFP)

Former Indian captain Anjum Chopra said on Saturday that she is sure that star batter Virat Kohli is doing all he can to get back among runs and it is a matter of time before he is back to his best.

"Virat Kohli himself knows what he needs. When you do not score as per your standards, you practice more. I am sure that he is practicing, is doing, and will keep doing everything to back in form. The way international cricket goes, practice is the only way out. A player can only try and make the effort. And a player like him must be trying and trying to get out of the slump. But sometimes, things do not go your way. The kind of adulation and focus he has had on him over the years, this dip was bound to happen sometime," said Chopra in an exclusive interview with ANI.

High standards

"I have seen players scoring 30s and 40s and surviving in the Indian team for years. But from his bat, the 30s and 40s look less because of the standard he has set for himself. I am sure that it will be a matter of time that he will be back among runs for the Indian team," she added.

Virat Kohli's recent run of form has been a subject of concern and debate among cricketers and fans alike.

Kohli could manage scores of only 11 and 20 in the fifth and final Test against Edgbaston and continued his bad performances in T20Is, where he could score only 12 runs in two innings.

This was followed by 17 and 16 runs in the three-match ODI series against England.

Also, Kohli had a sub-par IPL 2022, in which he could score only 341 runs in 16 games at an average of 22.73 and a sub-par strike rate of 115.98. He could score only two half-centuries in the tournament.

The start batter has not been at his best in the Blue jersey either, scoring 175 runs in eight innings at an average of 21.88 in ODIs and 81 runs in four innings at an average of 20.25.

Memorable partnerships

On Mithali Raj's retirement, Chopra expressed happiness at the fact that she had a great and long career. "We have had many memories and partnerships. I wish her all the best for the coming years," she added.

Mithali retired as the leading run-scorer in the women's ODIs. She represented India in 232 matches, scoring 7805 runs at an average of 50.68. In Tests, Mithali smashed 699 runs in 12 matches with a brilliant average of 43.68. She also scored 2,364 runs in 89 T20Is.

Mithali, who made her debut in 2002, is regarded as the greatest Indian women's batter. She captained the side to two 50-over World Cups.

At 16, Raj scored an unbeaten 114 on her ODI debut and soon established herself as a vital clog in India's batting order. In October 2019, Raj, at 36, became the first woman to complete two decades in ODI cricket On how well Harmanpreet Kaur will do as captain of Team India in absence of Raj, Chopra said that she has grown a lot as a player with the captaincy.

Responsible Harmanpreet Kaur

"I think she should have got the captaincy earlier. She has grown a lot as a player. She has huge stature in international cricket and experience as well. Responsibility changes the temperament of players. In Sri Lanka, she bailed her team out of trouble a few times, and was the player of the series. It is a good start." Indian men's team is scheduled to play T20 World Cup in 2022 and the Women's team in 2023. Regarding her expectations from Team India in these two tournaments, she said that she does hope that both teams win but it will not be easy.

"Just because you perform great right now does not mean you will also perform well in ICC events. Australia struggled for months before clinching the T20I World Cup last year. You can have that confidence as you progress, but if you do not have it, it is not like you go to an ICC event without confidence. ICC events have a different atmosphere, you go there confident as a player and captain," she added.

Talented bench

Chopra heaped praises on India's bench strength in the men's team. "There is a problem of picking the best 11,12 or even 18 players. We have such an amazing, talented bench. The women's team is looking for a similar sort of strength.

Chopra said that the CWG tournament 2022 and other upcoming cricket series will be important for the Indian women's team for its building. "There are good players, but not all are match winners. So you want more than one or two match winners. It will only happen by playing and getting exposure," she added.

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