Former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi has questioned Virat Kohli's dedication as the star India batter continues to go through a poor run of form. Not only has Kohli gone without a century for over two years, but unlike last year or 2020, the fifties have dried up as well. The first-ball ducks have gone up rapidly as Kohli endured a rather average IPL by his standards. Once the leading batter across formats, the former India captain's form has nosedived and Kohli appears a pale shadow of his once dominating self.
While Kohli has repeatedly said that he is in a good space despite the big scores going missing, Afridi feels the superstar of Indian cricket needs to take stock of where he currently stands. The former Pakistan all-rounder reckons Kohli's return to form depends on what his attitude is – whether he wants to strive to be No. 1 again, or if he is content with what he has achieved.
"In cricket, attitude matters the most. That is what I talk about the most. Do you have the attitude towards cricket or not? That Kohli, earlier in his career, wanted to be the No. 1 batsman in the world… is he still playing cricket with the same motivation? That is the big question. He has the class. But does he really even want to be No. 1 again? Or does he think he has achieved everything in life. Now just relax and pass time? It's all about attitude," Afridi said on Samaa TV.
After a two-month long IPL for Royal Challengers Bangalore, which saw Virat score 341 runs with two half-centuries, Kohli was rested for the home series against South Africa to prepare for the all-important tour of England. During the IPL, when several former cricketers – including former India coach Ravi Shastri – suggesting that Kohli should take a break to refresh, the batter opened up on the possibility of it, saying it is something he might consider.
"It's not a lot of people who mentioned it (taking a break)," Kohli told Star Sports in an interview. "There is one person precisely who has mentioned it which is Ravi bhai and that's because he has seen from close quarters over the last six-seven years the reality of the situation that I have been in. The amount of cricket that I have played and the ups and downs and the toll that it takes on you to play three formats of the game plus the IPL for 10-11 years non-stop with the seven years of captaincy in between."