The 33-year-old has gone without a century in the last 100 innings and is also not in great touch for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022
Former Indian head coach Ravi Shastri has opined that Virat Kohli is mentally "overcooked" and needs to take a break from cricket in order to serve the country for at least another six-seven years.
The 33-year-old has gone without a century in the last 100 innings and is also not in great touch for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022.
Shastri believes that Kohli needs to be handled with empathy amid the Covid-19 restrictions which have confined players to bio-bubbles.
"I am going straight to the main guy here. Virat Kohli is overcooked. If anyone needs a break, it's him," Shastri told Star Sports on Tuesday. "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."
Kohli stepped down from T20 captaincy of India while he quit Test leadership and was removed from the ODI captain's position. He also opted not to lead RCB from this season and South Africa's Faf du Plessis took to captaincy role.
"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,'" Shastri said. "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."
Meanwhile, former England captain Kevin Pietersen seconded Shastri's point and said Kohli should take time away from the game as well as social media to rejuvenate himself.
"...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," Pietersen said. "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.'" Pietersen said Kohli "is going to find it very hard to continue delivering now as his brain is completely fried."