Kevin Pietersen: People were foolish not to back Virat Kohli and not to support him

"I think Covid hurt him. I remember saying to him, “just chill, dude, it’s Covid"

by Sead Dedovic
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Kevin Pietersen: People were foolish not to back Virat Kohli and not to support him

Virat Kohli has been a constant target of criticism lately. Despite everything he has achieved and the fact that he is one of the greatest, fans have a need to criticize him. Kevin Pietersen is disappointed by such reactions and believes that Kohli is a legend of this sport.

He deserves much more respect. ‘With Virat, I’ve known for a very long time,Pietersen said for Betway. ‘The way that he plays the game – so passionate, so abrasive, so emotional. I think Covid hurt him.

I remember saying to him, “just chill, dude, it’s Covid, you’re an entertainer. You cannot play with three people and their dog watching you play cricket". To see him get that 75th hundred… People were foolish not to back him and not to support him.’

Indian Premier League and the pressure

Pietersen spoke about the pressure of playing in the Indian Premier League.

‘All the best players know, they block out their two months of the year, that’s when they’re going to go and do their service. There’s a lot of pressure. I remember speaking to De Villiers and Kohli about this three or four years ago.'

The players are aware that they have to give their best if they want to win the title. ‘They say it’s like the Champions League. These guys are turning up knowing this is not just a free ride to go and earn a quick buck.

They really have to perform.' Kevin also recalled the moment when he first signed a contract with the Indian team. ‘I went into the auction in the second year of the IPL. We were playing a Test match in the Caribbean and Freddie [Flintoff] and I woke up one morning, went down to breakfast, and we’d just been bought for $1.5m each.

That day I proceeded to bat pretty well! I just decided, right, the spinner’s tossing it up. So I went six, six, out, got out for 97. The headline the next day was “Dumb Slog Millionaire”.’

Virat Kohli
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