Pietersen urges ‘completely fried’ Kohli to take six-month cricket sabbatical

England legend Kevin Pietersen has urged Virat Kohli to take a six-month break from cricket to rejuvenate himself, claiming his "brain is completely fried".

Kohli is currently enduring a lean run of form in the IPL, having passed 12 just twice in seven innings so far. The 33-year-old has failed to score a hundred in his last 100 games and recently relinquished the captaincy of India in all three formats.

Kohli cited his "immense workload" as the reason behind his decision to step down as T20 captain last year and Pietersen believes he needs to step away from the sport to "go and get re-energised". Speaking to Star Sports after Kohli was out for a duck in the IPL clash between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Lucknow Super Giants, Pietersen said: "The guy has had so much to deal with, from marriage to baby to media scrutiny and all on his personal life.

"He is the biggest star on show. Virat Kohli needs to say 'cricket boots, for six months, I will see you later'. Turn off social media, go and get re-energised.

"When the stadiums are full again, you guarantee him a spot in that side for the next 12, 24 or 36 months. Tell him 'you're our guy, we know you'll deliver for us'.

"I think he is going to find it very hard to continue delivering now. His brain is completely fried."

Ravi Shastri, who coached India during Kohli's tenure as captain, added: "I am going straight to the main guy here. Virat Kohli is overcooked. If anyone needs a break, it's him.

"Whether it's two months or a month and a half, whether it's after [the] England [tour in July] or before England – he needs a break because he has got six-seven years of cricket left in him and you don't want to lose that with a fried brain.

"When I was [India] coach at the time when this first started, the first thing I said is, 'You have to show empathy to the guys. If you're going to be forceful, there is a very thin line there, from a guy losing the plot as opposed to him hanging in there and giving his best. So you have to be extremely careful."


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