Pakistan captain Babar Azam has backed Virat Kohli to come out of his prolonged lean run with the bat after the former India skipper was again dismissed cheaply in the second ODI against England at Lord’s.
Kohli was out for 16 off 25 deliveries as India faced a 100-run drubbing against the hosts.
While Kohli got off to a good start with the bat, hitting three boundaries, he soon fell to David Wiley, as he got outside to England captain Jos Buttler.
Pakistan skipper Babar, however, extended his support to Kohli with a message.
The 27-year-old star batter took to Twitter and wrote, “This too shall pass. Stay strong.”
Babar’s support for Kohli came after current Indian captain Rohit Sharma threw his weight behind his predecessor.
“For someone who has won so many matches for India, you need one or two innings to bounce back. That’s what I feel and I am sure all those who follow cricket will think similarly,” Rohit said at the post-match press conference on Thursday.
Saying that a cricketer of Kohli’s calibre does not need any reassurance from anyone, Rohit added, “He has played so many matches, over such a long period of time. He is such a great batter.”
Kohli also received backing from England captain Buttler who maintained that just like every cricketer, it is essential to remember that the former is “human” and can have a couple of low scores before getting back into form once again.
“I suppose in a little way it is quite refreshing for the rest of us that he (Kohli) is human and he can have a couple of low scores as well, but look he has been one of the best players, if not the best in ODI cricket in the world,” Buttler said.
“So, he has been a fantastic player for so many years and all batters, it just proves, they go through runs of the form where they do not perform as well as they do sometimes, but certainly as an opposition captain, you know a player of that class is always due, so you are hoping it does not come against us,” Buttler added.
Kohli has managed to score only 158 runs from seven ODI games so far this year with only two fifties to his name.
The 33-year-old remains in the third position in the ICC ODI rankings behind Pakistan’s Babar and Imam ul Haq.