KOLKATA: India’s limited-overs captain Rohit Sharma has thrown his weight behind embattled Virat Kohli, who has been grappling with poor form of late. Speaking with the media on the eve of the T20I series against the West Indies, Rohit stated that the team management has no issues with his form.
“I think it all starts with you guys (the media). If talking from your side stops, everything will be taken care of,” he said.
Sharma also lavished praise on Virat and said he’s in good space and knows how to handle pressure.
“He is in a very good space from what I can see and he has been part of the international team for more than a decade. He has spent so much time in international cricket that he knows how to handle pressure situations. So I think everything starts from you guys. If you guys can keep it quiet for a bit everything will fall in place,” he added.
This isn’t the first time that Rohit, as a captain, has come out in Virat’s support. After the recently-concluded ODI series against West Indies, in which India routed the visitors 3-0, Rohit had reacted sharply to a question about Virat. “Does Virat Kohli need more confidence?,” Rohit had said when asked whether Virat is low on confidence.
“If Kohli needs confidence, who in the team is confident? I know he has not scored a hundred for long but he is getting fifties. Even in South Africa, he hit 2 fifties in 3 matches,” he stated.
Virat only scored 26 runs in the 3 ODIs against West Indies. It was the first time he had scored less than 50 runs in a bilateral ODI series since 2015.
India’s batting coach Vikram Rathour has also firmly backed Virat. “I don’t think he’s going through a lean phase. I understand he had a poor series against the West Indies (in ODIs) but no conversation as such,” Rathour said on Monday.
“He’s batting really well in the nets and the kind of preparation he’s putting in, I’m certain that in one of these innings he will be back among runs,” he concluded.
After he voluntarily stepped down as India T20I captain last year, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had removed him as the ODI captain as well amid speculations of rift between Rohit and Virat.