The upcoming third ODI against England will be crucial for Virat Kohli

"He has to step aside from the phase where he was captain and eye of the media" - Shoaib Akhtar advises Virat Kohli to channel his entire focus on batting 

Former Pakistan bowler Shoaib Akhtar has encouraged Virat Kohli to forget about his stint as captain and focus entirely on his batting. The former India skipper has been subject to some brutal criticism following a poor tour of England.

Last year, the ace batter relinquished his captaincy in T20I and Test cricket to focus on his batting. Meanwhile, the BCCI elected Rohit Sharma to also lead the ODI side, leaving Kohli with no leadership responsibilities.

Jos Buttler said, "I'm incredibly surprised that Virat Kohli is facing criticism on his form. His records speaks for himself".

Akhtar feels that Kohli needs to let go of his time as the captain of the Indian side in order to find his touch with the bat. The former pacer said on his YouTube channel:

"There are some things that Kohli himself has to set. I have been saying this repeatedly; he has to step aside from the phase where he was captain and eye of the media and only focus on his batting. All of this stuff is happening so that Kohli can grow and be even bigger. He has to score 30-40 more hundreds."

The ace batter has taken time to adjust to the new role in the side. However, runs continue to elude him, evident by a poor home season, the IPL and the ongoing series against England.

"He is a strong person, just needs to go and recollect, compose and focus" - Shoaib Akhtar on what Virat Kohli needs to do return back to his former self


Virat Kohli's woes have stuck with him across formats. He went for a watchful approach during the Edgbaston Test but couldn't contribute much. He switched gears for an aggressive approach during the recently concluded series against England, but it didn't pay off either.

Babar Azam said, "Virat Kohli is one of the best players. I just tweeted thinking that it'll give him just some support. He's playing alot of cricket and he knows how to come out of these situations".

Advising Kohli to tough it out and stay at the crease for as long as possible while batting, Shoaib Akhtar said:

"He should not fear in this situation. He is a strong person, just needs to go and recollect, compose and focus. He should understand that he will not get runs by hitting from the go, runs are made after staying at the crease, it is simple logic."

Akhtar concluded:

There are some things that he is not being unable to implement, but he is not giving himself enough time at the crease."

The former captain will take some time off from the game after being rested for India's upcoming tour of the Caribbean. The Men In Blue will compete in three ODIs and five T20Is against the West Indies, beginning later this month.

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Edited by
Aranya Chaudhury
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