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Gavaskar on Kohli: 'There is this anxiety to play at every delivery'

Former cricketer feels he might be able to help the out-of-form Kohli "particularly with regards to that off-stump line"

Sunil Gavaskar presents Virat Kohli with the ICC Test Mace, Dharamsala, March 28, 2017

[File pic] "It goes back to the fact that his first mistake turns out to be his last," Gavaskar on Kohli  •  BCCI

Virat Kohli is desperately searching for big runs, and has developed an "anxiety to play at every delivery" as a result, Sunil Gavaskar feels.
Kohli ended the white-ball leg of the England tour without a half-century. In the two ODIs, Kohli was out nicking behind off left-arm quicks Reece Topley and David Willey, and had scores of 16 and 17. In the two T20Is, he scored 1 and 11. In the Test match at Edgbaston earlier, Kohli chopped on in the first innings, and was out poking to the slip cordon in the second innings, returning scores of 11 and 20. Kohli's century drought across formats has now extended to 79 innings.
"Having been an opening batter, having been troubled by that line, there are certain things that you try and do." Gavaskar told India Today. "It goes back to the fact that his first mistake turns out to be his last.
"Again, just because he is not amongst the runs, there is this anxiety to play at every delivery because that is what batters feel, they have got to score. You look to play at deliveries that you otherwise won't. But he has gotten out to good deliveries as well on this particular tour."
Gavaskar said he was open to helping Kohli work on his weakness.
"If I had about 20 minutes with him, I would be able to tell him the things he might have to do," Gavaskar said. "It might help him, I am not saying it will help him, but it could, particularly with regards to that off-stump line."
Kohli has been rested from India's white-ball tour of the Caribbean. India's next assignments after that is a short tour of Zimbabwe, followed by the Asia Cup T20s, possibly in the United Arab Emirates in August.
Several former players, most notably Kapil Dev, have questioned Kohli's place in the side, even as some younger players have stirred selection debates with their consistent performances. All through, the Indian think tank has backed Kohli, with Rohit Sharma, the captain, batting for him despite his form slump.
"He [Kohli] has played so many matches. He is playing for so many years. He is such a great batsman, so he does not need reassurance," Rohit said after the second ODI. "I pointed to this in my last press conference, too: form goes up and down, that is part and parcel of any cricketer's career.
"So, a player like him, who has played for so many years, who has made so many runs, who has won so many matches, he only needs one or two good innings [to bounce back]. That is my thinking, and I am sure all those who follow cricket will think similarly."