Kapil Dev rubbishes claims that Virat Kohli's form is a concern for Team India

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Kapil Dev rubbishes claims that Virat Kohli's form is a concern for Team India

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SportsCafe Desk

05/18/2017

Kapil Dev has said that the Indian fans should not worry about Virat Kohli's recent form because the Indian captain has the ability to bounce back in the Champions Trophy. Kapil was also gracious enough to accept that he did not believe that Jasprit Bumrah would become the player he is today.

Virat Kohli enjoyed a purple patch last year when he was virtually unplayable in every format of the game. For the National team, he averaged 75.93 in Tests, 92.37 in ODIs, and an astonishing 106.83 in T20s. He started the new year off by breaking Don Bradman's record of three consecutive double hundreds in as many series by going one better than the Aussie legend himself.

However, since getting that last double hundred against Bangladesh, Kohli has witnessed a dip in his form and was able to score just 46 runs in five innings against Australia before a shoulder injury ruled him out of the final Test. Having scored an incredible 973 runs in 16 matches in last season's IPL, Kohli could only manage 308 runs in 10 games this time around, while ending the season with a well made 58 against Delhi in the last game. Kapil Dev, however, dismissed the idea of form being a problem with Kohli going into the Champions Trophy.

"It (Kohli's form) should not be (a worry). I know his ability and talent. He will bounce back. I don't see any reasons (why) he will not be among the runs," Kapil said, reported PTI.

"He is an important player (for the team) and if he starts getting runs, then the whole team gets motivated. If your captain starts getting runs, it's the best thing that happens." 

Bhuvneshwar (Kumar) is very good, Umesh (Yadav) is very good, (Mohammed) Shami is extraordinary. (Ravichandran) Ashwin will be back and (Ravindra) Jadeja. These are the best bowlers we have in the country.

Kapil Dev, who led an unfancied Indian team to their maiden ICC World Cup victory back in 1983, finished his limited overs career with 253 wickets in 225 matches at an impressive average of 27.45. But the legendary all-rounder termed the current Indian bowling attack as one of the best in India's history and reserved special praise for death-over specialist Jasprit Bumrah.

"When I saw Bumrah for the first time, I never expected (that he will rise). He has such a strong mind! When your action is not so clean, it is difficult to manage to bowl such good bowling line and length, yorkers. He has the strength within himself. Whatever he wants to do, he can do," Kapil said candidly.

"His mindset is better than anything else and I have started respecting him much more than what I had seen on the first day when he played an ODI match. 

"If I see all these players, I don't think anybody else can fit in. Bhuvneshwar (Kumar) is very good, Umesh (Yadav) is very good, (Mohammed) Shami is extraordinary. (Ravichandran) Ashwin will be back and (Ravindra) Jadeja. These are the best bowlers we have in the country." 

With India preparing to launch a title defence for the ICC Champions Trophy, Kapil said that the Indian team looked very strong on paper and added that the inclusion of MS Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh could come in handy when the games are close.

Pakistan at this stage has nothing to lose. They have everything to gain and they are the underdogs. They have ruthless players, but Indian team, on paper, looks far better.

"On paper it (team) looks very good. Perhaps I know the team much better than other teams, so I can say, Indian team looks very good at this stage," the former Indian captain said.

"Both of them have a lot of respect among the youngsters. They have to play to their potential. We can't expect Dhoni or Yuvraj to be the same, as they were 15 years back. Their experience can come into the game." 

India will start their trophy defence against bitter rivals Pakistan in Birmingham on June 4. While India have had the better of Pakistan in ICC events, the Champions Trophy is the only tournament where Pakistan own the bragging rights. But the 1983 World Cup winner said that Pakistan would start the game as underdogs and would play without too much pressure.

"Indian team obviously looks far better and they are playing cricket which is among the best at this stage. So on paper our (Indian) team is far better," Kapil added.

"Pakistan at this stage has nothing to lose. They have everything to gain and they are the underdogs. They have ruthless players, but Indian team, on paper, looks far better." 

Virat Kohli is the only player to have scored 4 IPL centuries in a single season.

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