Kumar Sangakkara believes Virat Kohli’s workload must be regulated for India matches.
Kohli will not play in the T20I series against Sri Lanka, which begins on January 3 in Mumbai. The Indian batsman will return for three ODIs a week later.
Sangakkara was asked if he has witnessed any changes in Virat Kohli’s cricket in recent years because he doesn’t seem to be a threat to bowlers. He replied:
“I think it’s important to ask Virat how he manages his workload and time so he’s fresh, joyful, hungry, and ready to win every time he plays for India. You can’t expect him to deliver if he’s always playing cricket.”
The former Sri Lankan captain said Kohli’s pressure should drag him down.
“Virat Kohli plays the most cricket. It doesn’t matter how talented or fit you are, and he is both, but the tiredness, pressure, and expectations to continually produce and be the side’s lifeblood take a toll.”
Sangakkara noted that Kohli’s T20 heroics benefited from the layoff before the Asia Cup.
“Sometimes you stop loving it, so you need a break to replenish, and Virat returns hungry and performs. His T20 batting was excellent, especially against Pakistan.”
Kohli scored 296 runs at a 98.67 average and 136.40 strike rate in the T20 World Cup. His unbroken 82 against Pakistan saved India’s game.
Kumar Sangakkara on Virat Kohli: “He hasn’t lost his class or his edge.”
Sangakkara says Virat Kohli’s mojo remains:
“He hasn’t lost his class or edge. He’s a great player and will remain such. He has much more to offer India. I don’t think he has anything to prove, and every player has peaks and valleys.”
The Rajasthan Royals coach expects Kohli to counter bowlers’ intentions.
“The finest players maintain their peaks for longer than anyone else. Kohli did it. Dips, new bowling schemes put pressure on Virat to adapt and adjust his game to stay ahead, and I think he will.”
Kohli recorded his first T20I century against Afghanistan and his first ODI century against Bangladesh.
His poor Test form is a concern. He hopes to be at his best in the four-match series against Australia, which is crucial for India’s World Test Championship qualification.