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Virat Kohli Will Be 'Mentally & Physically' Freshened After Time Off Cricket, Believes Shane Watson

Virat Kohli will return to field for team India in the Asia Cup, having last played for the team during the tour of England in July.

IANS News
By IANS News August 24, 2022 • 16:07 PM

Former Australia all-rounder Shane Watson believes that talismanic India batter Virat Kohli will be freshened up mentally as well as physically after taking time off cricket and that fans tuning in to Asia Cup would see the best of Kohli again in the competition.

Kohli returns to the Indian team for the Asia Cup in T20I format, having last played for the national team during the tour of England in July. He was then rested for white-ball tour of West Indies and ODIs against Zimbabwe. Kohli has been in a prolonged lean patch, having not scored a century in international cricket since November 2019.

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If he features in India's 2022 Asia Cup opener against Pakistan on August 28 in Dubai, dubbed as the 'greatest rivalry' in cricketing world, it will also mark Kohli's 100th T20I appearance.

"This month that he's had off cricket will make sure that that light's shining very bright going into this Asia Cup, knowing there's a T20 World Cup in Australia coming up very soon as well. So when you're able to have a break, and because the Indian cricketers in particular play so much cricket, for Virat to be able to have some time off, especially a month, that's just going to regenerate everything he needs to be able to take stock of what happened, freshen up mentally and physically," said Watson on The ICC Review show.

Kohli has played just 16 matches for India this year, four of which were T20Is. "Having time off for him certainly, would (help him) just be able to regenerate mentally, physically, just be able to get away from the game of cricket."

"You could just see that his energy was a bit sapped, even during the IPL. You could tell, no matter how much he tried - he was always up and about, but you could see the light was just out a tiny bit. He's too good not to be able to find his groove. It'll only take him a couple of balls, get into the battle again, and away he goes," added Watson.

Throwing further light on the concept of rest and recovery while playing in an international sport, Watson remarked an extended break wasn't always the best way to go and that taking time off for a month is ideal when he was playing cricket for Australia.

"A break when you're playing so much helps a lot. When you've had a bit of time, and it's longer than a month, then your skills can start to just fall away a little bit. So you'll need a little bit of time to get your batting, your bowling exactly where you need to. But a month is just about the right time where you can have a actually break, freshen up, and feel like you don't really lose your rhythm and skill too much."

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"I found any time off pushing past six weeks, then it takes a bit of time to get in the groove again. But as an international cricketer when you're playing all year around, you've got to make most of your breaks because you do need to freshen up physically and mentally to be ready to go again and take on the challenges."