Former India head coach Ravi Shastri believes talismanic batter Virat Kohli looks a lot calmer after returning from the one-and-a-half break to return for Asia Cup 2022. Shastri added that the break taken by Kohli after India’s tour of England ended was a much-needed one.
Kohli, in a prolonged lean patch seen from him not scoring a century in international cricket since November 2019, began Asia Cup 2022 with a crucial 35 in the thrilling five-wicket win over Pakistan in India’s first Group A match. He then scored an unbeaten 59 in India’s second Group A win over Hong Kong.
“Virat Kohli looks a lot calmer, he needed that break. When you are mentally tired, you are fighting against yourself. Your body tells you something to do, your mind tells you something to do, but you can’t take it. The break could have helped him. The fact that he spent some time on the field would also help him,” said Shastri ahead of India’s Super Four match against Pakistan at the Dubai International Stadium.
Meanwhile, former Pakistan left-arm pacer Wasim Akram urged fans from both teams to not go overboard irrespective of what the result is at the end of the match. “And that’s where we experts have to suggest to fans from both India and Pakistan. The teams will compete, and they will give their 100 percent, day in and day out. But in the end, it’s a game of cricket. Somebody has to win, somebody has to lose.
“Any team loses, just say ‘bad luck, well tried, better luck next time’. Whichever team wins, ‘well played’. We (fans) just go overboard, we players, once the game is finished, we move on very quickly. We have to motivate ourselves again. So that’s very important for cricket fans, both sides.”
Shastri agreed with Akram’s comments, conceding the India-Pakistan contest is totally “over-hyped” from the outside. “It’s over-hyped from the outside. There is no love lost. The players will go at each other’s throats on the field. That’s how it should be.”
“There’s a great rivalry. It’s the biggest box office when it comes to a game of cricket. You look at the first game of the Asia Cup, every time these two teams play, it’s massive.”