Kohli Could Try Going Down The Batting Order: Ruturaj Gaikwad

Indian cricketers in an attempt to decode what is going wrong for Virat Kohli and the jury is divided on whether a great player like him needs to take a break or is he just ‘one good knock away’ from regaining his form

It is not easy being Virat Kohli. Not easy when he is scoring runs by the tons for the country or for his IPL franchise, Royal Challengers Bangalore. Neither is it easy being Kohli when he is not scoring runs and finding different ways of getting out, as if bad luck is chasing him for a prolonged period and in whatever he does with the bat Kohli’s average of 16.00 in nine matches so far in IPL is only better than what he averaged in the inaugural edition of the IPL in 2008 – 15.00 from 13 matches when he was fresh from winning the India under-19 World Cup as captain and had not broken into the senior Indian team.

IPL 2022: Virat Kohli kept the worry of poor form in the side, danced  fiercely without worry, watch video
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After establishing himself as a world-class batsman across all the three formats and playing them continuously with minimum break, Kohli has hit a rough patch this IPL. He is at an all-time low that can be matched with the 13.40 he averaged in five Tests on his first tour of England in 2014. Perhaps, Kohli has hit a mental block that he is trying too much and in the process not clicking. Perhaps, his over-anxiety to succeed at every single outing is not how he played his cricket all along.

Or it is just pure luck. After being dismissed by a beauty from Kolkata Knight Riders’ Umesh Yadav, he was run out either with his bat just on the line at the time of the stumps being broken or was done in by the brilliance of Lalit Yadav, who had only one stump to aim at. Or, he thought he was given an unfair decision to, after all the bowlers, the first delivery of part-timer Dewald Brevis of Mumbai Indians. If nothing else, he chased deliveries to get off the mark quickly and in the process get dismissed.

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It is Not Easy Being Virat Kohli, after years of success this is a phase

Kohl nearly fell for a third successive duck when he opened the batting in his last innings against Rajasthan Royals last Tuesday. There were indications that luck was on his side when the ball fell just short of short square-leg fielder Daryl Mitchell in the first over of Trent Boult. Luck was again on Kohli’s side when an inside edge narrowly missed the stumps and raced for four past the wicketkeeper Sanju Samson.

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However, he ran out of luck, as he has been running out of it for a majority of this IPL when an intended pull took the bottom edge of the bat and flew straight to point, where it was not a straight-forward catch but a smart one pulled off by Riyan Parag, diving in front of him. For a moment, it seemed that the ball flew to point off his helmet until Kohli, after a look of disbelief, started his long walk back to the pavilion. Gone for nine, Kohli at least averted a hat-trick of ‘golden ducks’.

So, what is it that Kohli is going through? Someone who has 23,650 international runs over nearly 14 years, and add to that 6,411 runs and you get a rare batsman with more than 30,000 hard-earned runs, it is only a rough patch that every great player goes through. They have gone through that rough patch, and will go through in the future.

Legendary Sunil Gavaskar has not been able to dissect Kohli’s technique saying he has not stayed long at the crease to understand what he is going through. Gavaskar’s India and Mumbai team-mate, Sandeep Patil feels that a break from the game would do Kohli a world of good. Former India opener and coach, Aunshman Gaekwad, agreed with Patil while also suggesting that it would do Kohli no harm if he dropped down the order. Former India leg-spinner Laxman Sivaramakrishnan felt that Kohli is such a fierce competitor that he is not the kind to shy away from challenges but take the bull by its horns and come back with vengeance.