The whole world has an opinion on Kohli’s form. However, of all these experts, how many have 20,000 runs and 70 centuries of international cricket?
Sport is a great leveler and nothing is more powerful than time! Virat Kohli’s skinny patch certainly taught the world both of those things. The man, who cut four centuries into IPL 2016, pocketed two successive gold ducks in the current 2022 edition. The man, who shattered 36 international centuries between 2016 and 2019, hasn’t hit triple digits for 2.5 years. While many wait for dawn, many fear it will be dusk.
Now, what is the reason behind this? The vulnerability of Virat Kohli outside the off-strain, his inability to start or the lack of hunger? The hunger to thrive, the hunger to demolish oppositions and the massive appetite for racing. Where are those things that made Kohli a force to be reckoned with and a nightmare for bowlers? Remember when Kohli said he would quit cricket until his zeal for the game was over.
“The motivation is just to win. The day the passion stops, I will stop playing. I would never want to drag myself more than my body can handle,” Virat Kohli told Gaurav Kapur on an episode of Breakfast with Champions, which aired in 2017. At the time, the right-handed hitter was in sensational form and scoring. short for fun. However, the races have dried up now and what exists are questions, worries and concerns.
Where did it start?
As mentioned above, Kohli The last international century was recorded in November 2019. Three months later, the COVID-19 virus entered the scene, which paralyzed the whole world. Terms like isolation and quarantine have gained popularity and even the perspective of life has changed. After all, a ravaging pandemic was a novelty.
With major series and tournaments canceled, Virat Kohli, like most cricketers, was enjoying time off with his family. It was the longest spell he had been absent from action on the pitch after his international debut. The 33-year-old said the free time was an eye opener for him as he discovered a lot about himself.
“Honestly, I didn’t miss the game as much as I thought I would. Maybe because I had been going for 9-10 years before that, and that was the only break I was going to get. It was a eye opener for me as well it was surprising that i didn’t just focus on how i miss the game all the time and i continue to live and do other things and understand that this is part of living Kohli said.
While Kohli returned to the pitch in September 2020 after the COVID break, things haven’t fallen into place for him since then. The talismanic hitter didn’t look at his best after his comeback, despite playing some practical shots from time to time. He even led India to the final of the 2021 World Test Championship, where his team lost to New Zealand.
The saga of the captaincy
Kohli’s batting form caught the eye during the England Test series last year, where his old tendency to kick the ball off the stump haunted him again. Although India ended the inconclusive series with a 2-1 lead, Kohli only slammed 218 runs in seven outings with his average just above 30. The Delhi-born hitter was obviously affected by workload and, therefore, he decided to ignore responsibilities from his shoulders.
He dropped a bombshell ahead of the IPL 2021, announcing he would step down as India’s T20I and RCB skipper to manage his workload. It was later known that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) was not on the same page with Kohli’s decision as the talismanic hitter was also shockingly sacked as ODI captain. The saga does not end there. After a 1-2 series loss to South Africa, Kohli even stepped down as India’s Test captain.
It was the end of the era and the cricketing world could not digest the series of events in the space of a few months. It should be noted that Kohli, while relinquishing the T20I captaincy in September 2021, made it clear that he would continue to lead the team in the other two formats. However, he reversed his decision a few months later and handed over the reins to Rohit Sharma on all formats.
Although Kohli did not disclose his state of mind, it is pretty much understood that all of these things have affected him. His performance was also affected by the same. Kohli’s total of 119 points is his lowest after the first eight games of an IPL season. The veteran’s disappointment was visible every time he suffered a setback this season.
In fact, his return to the clubhouse after his duck against Sunrisers Hyderabad was nothing but heartbreaking for the fans. His head was down as he walked in dismay.
Virat Kohli’s contribution to the game goes beyond scoring points
Yes, Kohli is going through a bad patch. Yes, the races have dried up for him and his criticism is also justified. Any further failure can also see what fans have feared all this time, his ousting from the player XI. Therefore, this is a serious test of Kohli’s character and there is a serious need for him to meet this challenge. Not just for RCB, not just for Team India, but for the enjoyment of the game.
Over the years, many hitters have collected a plethora of runs and come away with accolades. However, not everyone brought revolution. This Delhi-born boy inspired cricketers to hit hard in the gymnasium and there has been a culture shift in the Indian team. He instilled confidence and fearlessness in the team as India became a formidable force in overseas testing as well.
When Virat Kohli showed he couldn’t be bothered
Speaking of Kohli’s mental courage, do you remember his first game as captain of the Indian Tests? Like MS Dhoni was injured, he led the troupe on the 2014/15 Test of India opening tour in Australia. Notably, Kohli’s previous assignment in the game’s longest format was the disastrous tour of England, which revealed his vulnerability against the moving ball. From then on, all eyes were on him.
In such a pressured game, bruiser Mitchell Johnson greeted the Indian skipper with a bouncer who smashed his helmet. A few days before that match, Australian hitter Phillip Hughes had died after a bouncer smashed his head. Therefore, this welcome from Johnson would have surprised many players. However, Kohli decided to associate fire with fire.
He shattered not one but two centuries in the game as India were on the verge of recording a historic victory. A few years later, when India toured Australia, several former Australian cricketers advised their compatriots not to drag Kohli. Now, what can be a greater irony than that! It shows what Virat Kohli has been over the years and why the game needs him.
The whole world has an opinion on Kohli’s form. While some feel he needs a break, many believe a change in batting position could help him. However, of all these experts, how many have 20,000 runs and 70 centuries of international cricket? It was Kohli who did all these wonders on the pitch and that too with astonishing regularity.
The point is, we have to let Virat Kohli be Virat Kohli and let him bring out the best in him. It was his decision to lead a fitness revolution, not that anyone forced him to. Nobody forced him to break records for fun, nobody forced him to score a century after another. Therefore, while the great man is going through a difficult time, let’s allow him to do some soul-searching and figure out what’s best for him!