Pakistani Babar Azam backs Kohli to overcome batting crisis

Pakistani skipper Babar Azam said on Friday that Virat Kohli remains one of the world’s best cricketers despite his protracted slump and should get all the support he needs to regain his batting form.

Kohli, who has been rested for the upcoming One Day International and Twenty20 series in the West Indies, has not reached a century since 2019 and has been criticized for his long spell of leanness, with questions raised over his future.

Read also: The big Kohli question

But Azam tweeted a photo of the two sporting rivals on Thursday captioned “This too shall pass. Stay strong”, which went viral as fans praised the Pakistani batsman for backing the former India captain.

“As a player, (difficult) moments can also befall you,” Azam said ahead of his side’s first test in Sri Lanka.

“I know how a player goes through such times and how he gets out of it. So he needs support in those times and as a player I tweeted to support him.”

Azam, who is often compared to Kohli for his prolific scoring, added: “He’s one of the best players and he knows how to get out of it. It takes time but we have to support him.”

Former cricketers including Kapil Dev have said Kohli should be dropped and the youngsters given a chance to prove their worth in a competitive Indian side.

Also read: If Ashwin can be removed from Test, why can’t Virat be removed from T20I: Kapil Dev

India captain Rohit Sharma, however, backed his senior batsman to bounce back soon.

“He was such a great batsman, he needs no reassurance,” Rohit said after his side’s loss to England on Thursday.

“Form goes up and down, it’s part (and) of a player’s life. It’s just a matter of one or two sets” for Kohli, he added.

Sourav Ganguly, chairman of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, said Kohli “has to find his way” to score points again.

Many former players, including Ashish Nehra, believe the star batsman should take an extended break to regain his batting mojo.

Kohli, who has reached 27 centuries in 102 Tests since his debut in 2011, endured a torrid 12 months which also saw him replaced as India captain.

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