Both ESPNcricinfo pundits agree that after Kohli has “consumed” India for seven years and also spent several years as their best hitter in all formats, Kohli is still coming to terms with transitioning into the background as one of the players.
Vettori and Shastri responded to Kohli’s statement that he planned to talk to Indian team management, led by head coach Rahul Dravid, about taking a break in the near future and why he thought that was a “healthy” option. Kohli made those comments in his conversation with Star Sports, which aired Thursday.
In the chat, Kohli also spoke to former India teammate Harbhajan Singh. Kohli said he was going through one of the “lucky” phases of his career and was totally unperturbed by his battle battle, which has seen him score three golden ducks this IPL and not score a century since November 2019. Kohli insisted there was nothing to worry about. . with his percussion, but he was eager to take a break to freshen up.
Vettori, who worked with Kohli for a number of years while he was head coach at Royal Challengers Bangalore, said the senior Indian batter may be experiencing withdrawal symptoms from captaincy.
“I don’t associate his lack of form with a mental break,” Vettori said at the T20 Time Out on Thursday. “He works hard and he knows exactly what to do with his game. We underestimate how exhausting captaincy is and for a player who had seven years of service, in all three formats, which meant so much to the team from a batting perspective, from an emotional perspective, from the leadership perspective and the captaincy, that’s overwhelming.”
Vettori, himself a former international captain for New Zealand, admitted he “hate” being at the helm as it was a 24×7 job.
“You don’t realize how consuming it is when you’re in it and once you’re out it almost completely alienates you,” Vettori said. “You’ve gone from talking 24×7 with Ravi to possibly no one advising on many things. So you’re actually kind of left in the background because the team moves on and the captain-coach relationship starts over with other people. So it’s a funny time.
“A break might be best, who knows, but Virat knows himself so well that he understands exactly what he needs and what he needs to get back to his best.”
“The fact that suddenly there is no one to ask him for a press conference, who should play, who should not, this time is the team meeting, you have to be there. You suddenly go to the other end of the spectrum, so it’s for a human being very hard to deal with let alone Virat Kohli.
“So it’s not about hitting badly. He has to tick all the boxes in the nets and hit it beautifully. (But) mental fatigue creeps in, that’s when you need a little break to just rejuvenate, to recharge the batteries and come back refreshed It’s not a break because of the form as Danny said It has nothing to do with it It’s just that little bit of overload he’s had over the years so give him a pause .”
Shastri thought he wouldn’t be surprised if the Indian selectors rested senior players such as Kohli, Indian captain Rohit Sharma and a few other all-format players ahead of the T20I series of five games at home against South Africa in June, only to get them fresh. for the tour of England, consisting of a one-off test and a series of six white-ball matches.
Shastri agreed that players like Kohli would do well and need such short breaks more often to stay “in optimal shape”.
“Absolutely no doubt about it,” Shastri said when asked if it was necessary to manage the workload of key senior players. “Very difficult for a player to maintain optimal form, hunger, that passion when you’re going to play all three formats constantly. And he’s the only player among all Indian players who has done just that.”
Nagraj Gollapudi is news editor at ESPNcricinfo