Rohit, who stood up for his teammate ahead of the first ODI, has again backed Virat Kohli and told reporters: “Virat Kohli doesn’t need reassurance from him as he is too good a player.”
“Why is there even a debate or discussion on Virat Kohli’s form. Like i said in the last press conference. When someone is scoring consistently for so long, we can’t overlook his contribution if he is not scoring in one or two series or in one or two years. We know the importance of Virat Kohli,” said Rohit.
“Form upar neeche hota hai, player (Virat Kohli) ka quality kabhi kharab nahi hota hai. (There will always be ups and downs in the cricketer’s form but players’ quality will never fade away.) We should always keep this in mind that there is a quality in certain players and we as a team back that quality. Every cricketer goes through this rough phase, it is a part and parcel our lives,” he added.
Missing the first ODI against England with a groin injury, Kohli made just 16 in the second match, which India lost by 100 runs at Lord’s.
This is some spell. Kohli departs…
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) July 14, 2022
It means the right-hander has now gone 77 consecutive international innings without reaching three figures, after scores of 1 and 11 in the T20I series and failures in the rescheduled fifth Test.
With a T20 World Cup around the corner and World Test Championship points needed to keep up in a race for next year’s final, Kohli’s place in the team has been pondered by fans and former legends.
England captain Jos Buttler, too, had extended his support for Virat Kohli after the second ODI.
“I am incredibly surprised by the criticism he is getting,” said Buttler.
“It is quite refreshing for the rest of us that he (Kohli) is human and he too can have a couple of low scores. He is one of the best players if not the best player in ODI cricket. He has been a fantastic player for so many years. As a captain you will always back the class of Virat Kohli,” said Buttler.
After winning the first ODI by ten wickets, India suffered a 100-run loss in the second. The decider of the three-match ODI series will be played at Old Trafford on Sunday.