“His party and sledding showed he was under some pressure”

Former England cricketer Monty Panesar deduced from sledging Virat Kohli in the fifth test at Edgbaston that he was under pressure. Panesar felt that the trust issues with the BCCI affected the star batter, as he was hardly himself.

Kohli grabbed the spotlight in the fifth Test in Edgbaston against England before engaging in verbal war with Jonny Bairstow. Although the 33-year-old took no action for his sleds, several former cricketers taunted him via social media for doing so.

Speaking to the Times of India, Panesar questioned Kohli’s behavior on the pitch, saying the celebrations had been over-strung. The 40-year-old felt Kohli appeared to be under pressure due to his off-field issues with the BCCI.

Did Virat Kohli inspire Jonny Bairstow’s exploits?@jbairstow21 joined the latest Tailenders podcast to talk about the India test and his incredible form in England under Brendon McCullum.🎧 Listen more @BBCSounds #BBCCricket #ENGvIND

The former off-spinner said:

“When I looked at his behavior and everything in England, I asked myself if that’s really the Virat Kohli? He was a bit overloaded. He’s not. He wasn’t really. His party and sledding showed that he was under there was some pressure.”

Panesar continued:

“It’s not the Virat Kohli we know. He’s a bit scarred by some of the trust issues he had with the BCCI people. He was treated and how he talked about it in the media.”

The former left arm spinner also felt he should not have been allowed to compete in the IPL this year and focused on staying fit for the World Cup, saying:

“Virat needs to give himself a little more time now. He needs a good refresher. He really needs a deep rest. He needs his body and mind to heal.”

The 40-year-old added:

“He shouldn’t have played in the IPL. IPL was a perfect opportunity to go back and rest – mentally and physically. He should have said I’m not going to play IPL and instead focus my energy on the World Cup.”

Monty Panesar.  (Image credit: Getty)
Monty Panesar. (Image credit: Getty)

Kohli, the highest finisher in tournament history, had an unforgettable IPL 2022. The 33-year-old scored just 341 runs in 16 games at 22.73, hitting 115.99 with two fifties.

“Virat should be in the roster” – Monty Panesar on his T20 World Cup chances

When asked if Kohli deserves to be part of the T20 World Cup squad, Panesar claimed he undoubtedly should, adding:

“Virat should be on the roster. He should travel to Australia because you need Virat in the big global tournaments. He’s an ambassador of the game. So you need him there.”

Only one player has lifted his bat in the last six times, an Indian scored a fifty in the T20 World.🙌72* v SA, 2014 by Virat Kohli77 v SL, 2014 by Virat Kohli55* v PAK, 2016 by Virat Kohli82* v AUS , 2016 by Virat Kohli89* v WI, 2016 by Virat Kohli57 v PAK, 2021 by Virat Kohli https://t.co/Vv6Wwam2Sq

The Luton-born former cricketer added:

“Whether he plays or not, he should be there as a team member. His experience there can give that confidence to the young players who play.”

Kohli was the man of the tournament in the World T20 2014 and 2016, finishing both tournaments as the highest finisher. In both cases, however, the Men in Blue missed the title by touching distance.

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