Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting backed Virat Kohli to rebound from his poor recent form and said it was only a matter of time before the former India captain started scoring runs again.
Kohli’s place in the shortest format has come under the scanner in recent times with the T20 World Cup coming up in Australia in 2022.
“I think if I was an opposition captain or an opposition player, I will be fearing playing an Indian team that has Virat Kohli in it, more than I would be one that doesn’t have him in it,” Ponting told broadcaster Sanjana Ganesan on The ICC Review.
“I know there have been some challenges for him, it’s been a difficult time. But every great player that I have seen in this game has been through it at some stage, whether that’s a batsman or a bowler, they have all been through it. And somehow, the best (players) find a way to rebound and respond, and it’s only a matter of time before Virat does that.”
Ponting, who coaches Delhi Capitals in the Indian Premier League, said if he were around the Indian set-up he would just try to make his life as easy as possible and trust him to come good.
“If you leave Virat out of the eve of the World Cup, and someone comes in and has a reasonable tournament, it will be hard for Virat to get back in it,” Ponting added.
“If I was India, I will keep pushing with him, because I know the upside. If they actually get him back confident and playing as well as he can, that upside is better than most. So I think if I was a captain or a coach around the Indian set up, I will be making life as easy as possible for him to feel as comfortable as possible, and just wait for him to flick the switch and start scoring runs again.”
Kohli's recent T20I dip
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Ponting also said he would not move Kohli around in the batting order and it would be best to get him firing nice and early in the tournament without holding back.
“Early in the tournament, for a first-round game, (it’s important to) get him in nice and early, among the runs, and then hopefully by the end of the tournament you’ll have Virat Kohli back at his best,” Ponting added.
“That’s the way I would look at it. I wouldn’t think about holding him back at the start of the tournament, with the thought that you might be able to bring him back towards the back end and have him peak. Tournament play isn’t like that.
“You need to work your way into the tournament, get some runs under your belt, and get some confidence and then be playing your best cricket at the back end.”
Watch his interview here: