Virat Kohli's form has taken a dip and it's been more than a hundred matches since he last scored a century. However, Kohli has found support from former cricketers and peers and all believe that a turnaround is around the corner.
It is hard to reconcile the Virat Kohli of the now with the Virat Kohli of the past. The Virat Kohli of the past was a player who breathed fire; one who stretched his every sinew, expended his every ounce of energy to give his all to his team, be it Team India or his Indian Premier League franchisee. The Virat Kohli of today probably has the same hunger, but there is also fatigue. It is hard to reconcile this subdued--even downcast--version with the version that supercharged the Indian team into the juggernaut it is today.
Recommended ArticlesView All
China COVID protest: Xi Jinping can't blame the protesters — the world will be watching
IST9 Min(s) Read
It's not simply his vim Kohli seems to have lost along the way, somewhere between being sacked as India captain to giving up the helm of the Royal Challengers Bangalore. Runs too have dried up for this player, who at one time appeared to conjure up centuries at will out on the pitch.
As illustrated in the chart below, in six games so far Kohli has scored just 119 runs at a mediocre average of 23.8, with 48 being his highest score.
Virat Kohli’s IPL 2022
Former India coach Ravi Shastri, however, is of the opinion that Kohli needs a break to rejuvenate. Only, Shastri's remarks came after the fiery batsman got out on a golden duck -- only his fourth time in the Indian Premier League (IPL) -- during the match against the Lucknow Super Giants (LSG)
Kohli hasn't scored a century in over 100 matches across all formats. For a player of any stature, this is a dire, dry run and has inevitably prompted chatter about his shelf life. However, Kohli has found support from former cricketers and experts, including former India coach and now RCB coach Sanjay Bangar, who said a big score off Kohli's bat is likely around the corner as Kohli has been training hard. Bangar also fell back on that old adage -- "form is temporary, but class is permanent".
Kohli, who has been a key part of the IPL since its inception in 2008, has only had four golden ducks (first ball dismissal) in the tournament. The last one came when he threw away his wicket, chasing a rising delivery from Sri Lankan bowler Dushmantha Chameera outside off stump.
Virat Kohli since his last century
The ace batsman's form has been mixed since the last time he hit his last century a 100 matches ago. A closer look at data shows that in T20 Internationals, Kohli still averages a strong 56.4, but his form in Tests, One-Day Internationals (ODIs) and the IPL has been below-par.
The 33-year-old from Delhi stepped down from T20 captaincy both for India and RCB and also quit Test leadership, while he was removed from ODI skipper's role.
India will be waiting for the day when Kohli of the old returns, cutting loose on the pitch, for mere numbers are a mean measure of the value his brings to his team. His street (or should we say field?) smarts are an invaluable asset, while his aggression and on-field energy can fire up his side like no current cricketer can. He was there for his teammates at their lowest -- his immediate and ready defence of Mohammad Shami, who was being trolled on social media following India's loss to Pakistan in the recent T20 World Cup is but one example -- so what his teammates, and we as cricket fans, can do is cut him some slack, and give him some time.
(Edited by : Vijay Anand)
First Published: IST