‘No one can be perfect for long. He’s legend’: Ex-RCB player on Kohli criticism | Cricket

No one has managed to answer back critics like Virat Kohli does. When criticisms had reached its peak last summer with questions over Kohli’s place in the T20I squad, he replied with an unthinkable ton in the Asia Cup before emerging as the highest run-getter in the T20 World Cup. He then scored a couple of ODI tons to reignite the Sachin Tendulkar debate. When criticism shifted to Tests, with few asking questions over Kohli’s future in the format, he shut them down with a ton in Ahmedabad. Few doubted him, few were indecisive, but the ardent fans believed in him, like former Sri Lanka cricketer Isuru Udana, who gave a blunt response to Kohli’s critics.

India's Virat Kohli bats in the nets during a practice session(AFP)
India’s Virat Kohli bats in the nets during a practice session(AFP)

In an exclusive interaction with Hindustan Times in the sidelines of the ongoing Legends Cricket League in Doha, Udana, speaking of avalanche of criticism directed at Kohli before his 75th international ton, said: “No one can be perfect for long. He is a legend, we all know that. Everyone faces failure at some point in their career. But for me he is and will remain the best.”

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Udana had shared the dressing room with Kohli during his only ever IPL season, for Royal Challengers Bangalore, in 2020. The veteran left-arm pacer, who is playing for Asia Lions in the LLC, recalled his first meeting with the former captain and his “hero” AB de Villiers.

“It was a different experience altogether, meeting Kohli and AB de Villiers, who is my hero. It was a huge opportunity I had and I enjoyed every bit of it. I knew Kohli before that was the first time I met him in person. He was really good to me when I went to the RCB dressing room for the first time,” he said.

Roped in for INR 50 lakhs in the auction, Udana was added for his death-bowling prowess, but the fast bowler failed to impress. In 10 matches that season, he picked eight wickets at an economy rate of 9.72. He was later released after that season.

The 35-year-old also gave his verdict on the present Indian bowling attack saying that in the absence of Jasprit Bumrah, the combination has looked weak.

“Yes, absolutely. Beacuse of Bumrah’s absence the team balance has been disrupted. If you analyse the last six months, this is my opinion, Bumrah has been the missing link,” he said.

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