"Class is permanent, form is temporary" - Mahela Jayawardene on Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli has had a worrying decline with the bat since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Mahela Jayawardene spoke of Virat Kohli's longstanding slump with the bat in hand ahead of India's Asia Cup campaign. The former Sri Lanka skipper said it is "unfortunate" to see a player of Kohli's calibre going through elongated strife with his game.
Jayawardene, however, backed the former India skipper to overcome his issues via the forthcoming regional T20I competition in UAE, which presents the batter another good opportunity to regain his lost mojo in the weeks leading upto the T20 World Cup in Australia.
Having turned out in only four of India's previous 24 T20Is since the end of the World Cup last November, Kohli is under pressure to deliver the goods as quickly as possible. Amidst stiff competition, there is growing scrutiny over the dip in his performances and a specific weakness that he is currently plagued with.
Since the start of 2020, Virat Kohli has had a strike-rate of only 103.57 in T20Is against spin. The corresponding number in the IPL, over three seasons for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), stands at 105.22 from 52 innings. With Kohli holding the critical No.3 spot in the line-up, his spin struggles present a major headache for the think-tank.
Mahela Jayawardene backs Virat Kohli to come good
Jayawardene came out in support of Virat Kohli's decision for him to skip the Zimbabwe ODI series after having also taken a break from the trip to the Caribbean, featuring three ODIs and five T20Is.
He said he is certain that skipper Rohit Sharma and head coach Rahul Dravid would've had a conversation with the player and given clarity on what is expected out of him with the T20 World Cup in mind.
"Well, it is unfortunate what Virat is going through right now at the moment but I think he is a quality player so it would have been a conversation that Rahul and the management would have had with Virat and you know see," the Sri Lankan batting great said on the ICC Review show.
"India’s always trying to bring the next generation of cricketers through and the Zimbabwe tour was a good opportunity for those guys to get a hit out there," added the well-versed 45-year-old.
Someone who has worked closely with Rohit in his capacity as Mumbai Indians (MI) coach in the IPL, Jayawardene said the skipper would've led positive conversations with his experienced teammate, with the clear-headed Dravid also providing him adequate support.
"I think there have been very positive conversations and you know it is what it is but I think you know class is something which is permanent, form is temporary. So I believe Virat has the tools to come out of it. He has done that in the past as well and I’m sure he’ll come through this," he said.