Asia Cup 2022: Virat Kohli needs to score runs not only for India but for himself, says Sourav Ganguly

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Asia Cup 2022: Virat Kohli needs to score runs not only for India but for himself, says Sourav Ganguly
Asia Cup 2022: Virat Kohli needs to score runs not only for India but for himself, says Sourav Ganguly

Asia Cup 2022: Virat Kohli needs to score runs not only for India but for himself, says Sourav Ganguly

Asia Cup 2022: BCCI president Sourav Ganguly on Friday said on Friday that struggling batsman Virat Kohli must make runs “for himself” in addition to for India.

Kohli will try again to hit his maiden international hundred since 2019 in the Asia Cup, which begins here on Saturday. His prior attempts to do so were all unsuccessful.

“He needs to score runs not only for India but for himself. Hopefully it will be a good season for him. We all are confident that he’ll come back,” said Ganguly as quoted by PTI.

In the 2019 Eden Gardens pink ball Test against Bangladesh, Kohli scored his most recent international century.

“I’m sure like all of us are waiting for him to get that hundred. He’s working for it as well,” Ganguly said.

“The chances of getting a hundred in a T20 is less because of the time. But, hopefully, this will be a big season for Kohli.”

The 33-year-old former India captain, who was last active in England in the months of June and July, has returned after a month off during which he missed two white-ball series in the West Indies and Zimbabwe.

Asia Cup 2022: Virat Kohli needs to score runs not only for India but for himself, says Sourav Ganguly
Asia Cup 2022: Virat Kohli needs to score runs not only for India but for himself, says Sourav Ganguly

In his previous five games, Kohli’s highest total was 20 in India’s defeat to England in the rescheduled fifth Test at Birmingham.

Kohli had a dismal IPL 15, scoring 341 runs from 16 matches at an average of 22.73 after giving up his leadership at Royal Challengers Bangalore as well.

During a press conference on the sidelines of Senco Gold & Diamonds’ DG Gold promotional event in this city, Ganguly refused to accept that a significant player like Kohli could suffer this lengthy of a dry spell.

“He’s a very big player, there for a long time. I know he has his own formula to score runs. It’s not possible that players of his stature can’t have such a long lean patch, I know he will definitely score runs.

“If he was not a great player, he would not have scored so many runs for so long,” Ganguly maintained.

About a year after losing to Pakistan at the same location in the T20 World Cup, defending champions India will open their campaign with that match in Dubai.

The T20 World Cup defeat, according to Ganguly, won’t significantly affect the results of the upcoming matches.

“Since 1992 I’ve been following Indo-Pak matches closely. In these 30 years we have lost only once. It’s not magic that you will always win. You lose once or twice, it’s not a big deal,” Ganguly said.

Asked about the pressure that comes with playing Pakistan, he said: “The ones who play regular cricket like in my playing days, it’s just another game where you have had to perform. I never played thinking ‘Pakistan, Pakistan’ only. Maybe during a World Cup semifinal, qualifier match, that sort of emotions were there.

“If you take all that into consideration, I know the likes of Rohit (Sharma), KL Rahul, Virat, (Rishabh), Pant know how to handle the pressure.”

When asked whether Pakistan would miss their star pacer Shaheen Afridi, Ganguly said; “I don’t think one player makes a difference in any team. We also don’t have (Jasprit) Bumrah.”

Ganguly added that Hardik Pandya’s return has given India a tremendous boost since the IPL.

“Absolutely… He’s a huge addition to the side plus his bowling. Last year he was not fit to bowl, now he’s gone back to bowling. So he is a huge addition,” he said.

“No team is a favourite in the T20 format. Did anyone think of Gujarat winning the IPL. It’s a different format altogether. You have so little time to recover,” he said when asked about the favourites to lift the Asia Cup.

The Supreme Court bench presided over by Justice DY Chandrachud will rule on the Board’s request for a change to the “cooling off” period after six years in office when Ganguly’s term as BCCI president expires in September. Before taking the helm of the BCCI, he was a member of the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB).

“It’s not in my hands. I don’t know, whatever will be asked will be asked. We will see,” the 50-year-old said when asked if he wishes to continue after his term is over.