Virat Kohli

Former India opener Virender Sehwag has leapt to the defence of out-of-form India skipper Virat Kohli and has backed him to find his rhythm in time for the upcoming ICC Champions Trophy.

The Royal Challengers Bangalore have endured a torrid time in the ongoing season of the Indian Premier League, winning just two out of their 13 games.

The finalists of last year were the first team to bow out this season and have been shoddy in all departments. With just five points so far, the Bangalore-based outfit, which was one of the hot pre-tournament favourites to lift the title, is set to end up with the wooden spoon for the first time in the history. And one of the biggest reasons for their dismal performance this season was their talismanic skipper, Virat Kohli’s indifferent show with the bat.

The 28-year old, who had scored record four centuries in the last edition of the tournament, has managed to score only 250 runs in nine matches this season at a modest average of 27.77.

In fact, the India batting mainstay is out of touch for quite some time now. After scoring four Test double-centuries in as many series, Kohli had a forgettable outing in the four-match Test series against Australia where he managed to score just 46 runs in three Tests.

With Champions Trophy just around the corner, Kohli’s poor form is a major concern for the team but Sehwag is confident that his former India teammate will get back to his best in time.

“It (bad patch) happens with every player. Even if you look at the great Sachin Tendulkar, he hasn’t played the same (way) every year. Even your (media) questions keep changing time to time. When the time changes, the form also changes. The hallmark of a good player is who can come out of bad form and Virat knows very well how to come back into good form,” Sehwag said on Friday (May 12) during a meet and greet session organised by 92.7 BIG FM in Mumbai.

When asked whether the Indian players would find it difficult to switch formats, the former cricketer said:“No, I don’t think so.”

Sehwag, who is the mentor of Kings XI Punjab, further added that his team’s fortunes now depends on the results of the other games. The Kings XI kept their slim hopes of making it to the playoffs alive with a thrilling seven-run win over Mumbai Indians on Thursday (May 11) and need to win their last game at all cost to have any chance of going further in the tournament. But their qualification to the next stage also depends on the result of some other games. With 14 points in 13 games, they are currently placed fifth on the table.

“Our qualification depends on other teams. If (Rising) Pune (Supergiant) lose and (Sunrisers) Hyderabad lose, or KKR (Kolkata Night Riders) lose then we have a chance to qualify. We have to maintain the run-rate and only then we can qualify,” Sehwag said.

The finalists of 2014 will play their last league game against Rising Pune Supergiant on Sunday (may 14).

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