“Said It Would Be Difficult…”: Ex-Pakistan Star’s U-Turn On Virat Kohli’s Comeback

Regarded by many as the greatest batter of his generation, Virat Kohli had a rough patch with the bat for the majority of 2022. The 34-year-old hadn’t scored an international century in nearly three years. The former India captain also had low returns with the bat during last season’s Indian Premier League. Amid his struggles with the bat, former Pakistan pacer Mohammad Asif had suggested that once Kohli loses his magic touch, it would be difficult for him to regain his form.

However, Kohli ended his century drought last season during the Asia Cup, smashing 122 off 61 balls against Afghanistan. It was his 71st century in international cricket, and his first in the shortest format of the game.

Kohli carried his form in the T20 World Cup, ending the tournament as the top-scorer.

Since then, Kohli has scored three more tons – all coming in ODIs.

Asif, however, has now made a u-turn regarding his statement on Kohli, insisting that he felt it would be “difficult” for the player to return to form, but “not impossible.”

“I said that it would be difficult, but not impossible. For a bottom-hand player, at the age of 31 or 32, it is difficult to make a strong comeback. Upper-hand players are a little more fluent, even if they have a bad patch, they can recover. Players like Sachin (Tendulkar), Babar (Azam) find it more easy to make a comeback due to this reason. Kohli is my favourite player and I really enjoy his batting,” Asif said on Salman Butt’s YouTube channel.

Speaking of Asif, he was one of three players suspended for spot-fixing in 2011 along with then captain Butt and fellow pacer Mohammad Amir.

He was handed a seven-year ban in 2011 for his role in the spot-fixing scandal during Pakistan’s tour of England.

The 40-year-old was also sentenced to one year in prison and served half of that sentence. In 2015, ICC relaxed its previous suspension and allowed the three players to return to all forms of the game.

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