“I am going straight to the main guy here. Virat Kohli is overcooked. If anyone needs a break, it’s him,” Shastri told Star Sports on Tuesday. “Whether it’s two months or a month and a half, whether it’s after [the] England [tour in July] or before England – he needs a break because he has got six-seven years of cricket left in him and you don’t want to lose that with a fried brain.”
Kohli hasn’t scored a century in the last 100 matches across formats and, in the past seven months, stepped down from T20 captaincy – both for India and Royal Challengers – as well as quit Test leadership and was removed from the ODI captain’s position.
“When I was [India] coach at the time when this first started, the first thing I said is, ‘You have to show empathy to the guys,'” Shastri said. “If you’re going to be forceful, there is a very thin line there, from a guy losing the plot as opposed to him hanging in there and giving his best. So you have to be extremely careful.”
“…the guy has had so much to deal with, from marriage to baby to media scrutiny and all on his personal life. He is the biggest star on show,” Pietersen said. “Virat Kohli needs to say, ‘Cricket boots, for six months, I will see you later.’ Turn off social media, go and get re-energised.
“When the stadiums are full again, you guarantee him a spot in that side for the next 12, 24 or 36 months. Tell him, ‘You’re our guy. We know you’ll deliver for us.'” Pietersen said Kohli “is going to find it very hard to continue delivering now as his brain is completely fried.”
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