Asia Cup 2018: Ravi Shastri reveals the reason why Virat Kohli skipped the event
“Virat needed this rest."
Updated - Oct 2, 2018 11:18 am
The news about resting India’s regular captain Virat Kohli for the Asia Cup held recently in the United Arab Emirates had stunned the fans for it featured big teams like Pakistan and Sri Lanka. There were even voices in Pakistan saying that Kohli had fled before the battle began. Such talks are definitely part of a psychological warfare but yet, Kohli’s absence remained a mystery for many though it was said that he was rested after the gruelling England series and that more demanding overseas series’ are upcoming.
However, Kohli’s absence was more than replicated by some excellent teamwork by India who were led by Rohit Sharma. India did not lose a single match though they tied a game with Afghanistan. But their couple of dominant victories over arch-rivals Pakistan were too satisfying for the fans to forget the pain of not getting to see Kohli in full flow in the UAE’s batting paradise. The icing on the cake came with India defeating Bangladesh by 3 wickets in the final to win the trophy.
Kohli had a mental fatigue?
But was Kohli indeed rested because of the demanding England tour? According to India’s head coach Ravi Shastri who spoke to Gulf News in an interview after the tournament ended, Kohli had a mental fatigue after the long tour of England and needed a rest to return to the game with a fresh mind. Kohli played each and every game during the two-month long tour.
“Virat needed this rest. Physically, he is a boon, you can’t keep him out of the game. And the thing with Virat is if he plays, then you know the level of intensity he brings. So it was a case of just mental fatigue, giving him a break, take your mind off cricket and then come back fresh. And we will have to do it with a lot of other players. You know like Bumah (Jasprit Bumrah), Bhuvi (Bhuvneshwar Kumar), we have to sustain them and keep them energetic,” he mentioned.
This is not the first time that Virat Kohli has been rested for limited-over tournaments. Earlier this year, he skipped the triangular T20 Nidahas Trophy tournament featuring Bangladesh and Sri Lanka where Rohit also was the captain and he ended up as the winning captain. The tournament was played after the long series in South Africa. Similarly, Kohli did not play the one-off Test match against debutantes Afghanistan after the Indian Premier League in June.