Dubai : Ahead of the beginning of their Asia Cup 2022 campaign, India vice-captain K.L Rahul on Friday came out in support of premier batter Virat Kohli, saying that the criticism from the outside has not bothered the former Indian skipper during the troubled times.
India are all set to play arch-rivals Pakistan in the second match of the 2022 Asia Cup. The two sides are set to clash for the first time since India suffered a humbling 10-wicket loss at the hands of Pakistan in October 2021, which was their first loss to their neighbours in any World Cup, thus adding more spice to the rivalry when they face off on August 28 in the Asia Cup.
The game will also see the comeback of Virat Kohli after a break of over a month, having last played an international game in England on July 17. He was given rest for the series against West Indies and Zimbabwe.
Kohli’s recent form has been the talk of the town, with the star Indian batter going through a bit of a lean patch.”We don’t really give much importance to the comments.
Everyone has their own opinion but it doesn’t really affect a player, especially a world-class player like Virat obviously be affected by what people are saying on the outside,” K.L Rahul said in a press conference on the eve of the first game of the Asia Cup.
“He’s had a little bit of a break and he’s working on his game. The standards that he has set for himself, he has not been able to get but I am sure he is hungry as well to win matches for the country.
That’s what he has done throughout his career his mindset is always to win matches for his country,” he added.The opener also said that the team is eagerly wanting Virat to get back the old form as their aim is the T20 World Cup.
“I am sure that good things will happen and we all eagerly want Virat to get back the Virat Kohli form.We are not worried as an Indian team. Our aim is for the World Cup, if all batters are in good knick and as bowlers, they have played enough matches, that is our plan and that’s what we will look to do as a team,” he said.
The 30-year-old will be making a comeback of his own in the match against Pakistan, having not played a single T20I this year. Injuries and a bout of Covid-19 have seen the India opener watch from the sidelines for much of 2022.
He did make his comeback during the Zimbabwe tour and got some much-needed game time ahead of the Asia Cup. So, the Asia Cup will be the perfect tournament to test himself against the best of the teams before the Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia later this year and”Personally, going to Zimbabwe and playing three matches was good for recovery and seeing how my body has recovered,” said Rahul.
“You can spend time with the physio and in the nets but there’s nothing like playing a game on the ground.You’ll have to stay on the park for three and a half hours, especially playing an ODI and coming in to bat again,” he added.
The vice-captain also mentioned that the Zimbabwe tour gave him confidence in his body.”It gives you a lot of confidence and being out in the middle is always the best way to assess your form.
Personally, it was really important that I went there. I can now enter this tournament feeling a little bit more confident about my body and focus on my skill,” he said.”I will not judge how well I am batting by playing in the nets.
I’d want to challenge myself in the middle and this tournament gives me that opportunity to do so against good teams in high-pressure situations,” he added.