Cricket-Watson expects rejuvenated Kohli to come out of funk soon

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FILE PHOTO: Cricket – One Day International Series – India Practice Session – Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester, Britain – July 16, 2022 India’s Virat Kohli during practice Action Images via Reuters/Ed Sykes

NEW DELHI – Former Australia all-rounder Shane Watson believes India’s Virat Kohli is too good a player to languish in a funk for long and expects him to return to action at the Asia Cup rejuvenated after a month’s rest.

One of the premier batsmen of his era, Kohli has endured a prolonged run drought and is without a century in international cricket since his 70th in a test match in November 2019.

India begin their Asia Cup title defense against arch-rivals Pakistan on Sunday and few players would have more at stake in the Twenty20 tournament than the elegant 33-year-old batsman from Delhi.

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“This month that he’s had off cricket will make sure that that light’s shining very bright going into this Asia Cup, knowing there’s a T20 World Cup in Australia coming up as well,” Watson told the ICC Review program.

“…for Virat to be able to have some time off, especially a month, that’s just going to regenerate everything he needs to be able to take stock of what happened, freshen up mentally and physically.

“He’s too good not to be able to find his groove. It’ll only take him a couple of balls, get into the battle again, and away he goes.”

Kohli was rested from India’s Twenty20 tour of West Indies but he remains very much in India’s planning for the 20-overs World Cup in Australia later this year.

Former India coach Ravi Shastri recommended Kohli take a break from the game to rediscover his hunger but Watson said lengthy spells on the sidelines were not always ideal.

“When you’ve had a bit of time, and it’s longer than a month, then your skills can start to just fall away a little bit,” explained the 41-year-old.

“So you’ll need a little bit of time to get your batting, your bowling exactly where you need to.

“But a month is just about the right time where you can have a break, freshen up, and feel like you don’t really lose your rhythm and skill too much.”

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