- Cricket Winner | December 3, 2020 | 7:47 pm
Virat Kohli has played his last ODI innings of 2020 after being dismissed by Josh Hazlewood in the third ODI.
The dismissal is a significant one as it marks the first year without an ODI century by Virat Kohli since 2008
Kohli started his career in 2008 and made his first century in 2009.
Since then, Virat Kohli has become one of the greatest batsmen, as he showed the world how to score centuries with ease.
100s have become a regular feature for the batsman as he dominated run-chases to reach the position he’s at now.
Virat Kohli became the fastest to cross 12000 ODI runs but finished with another fifty, to complete a century less year.
ODI cricket in 2020 has been sparse due to the pandemic.
His streak, which has been going on for eleven years has finally been broken.
India didn’t have too many games, with the country only playing nine ODIs.
The ODIs were against top-level teams, New Zealand and Australia, and Virat Kohli also found himself in new positions during the year.
Virat Kohli didn’t have his vice-captain, Rohit Sharma, for six of the ODIs, and MS Dhoni had also retired while Shikhar Dhawan was injured for a significant part of the year.
The loss of crucial teammates left Virat Kohli leading a new group.
A lot of pressure was on him as he suddenly became the most experienced member in the batting line-up.
His form has already been in question after a World Cup without hitting a century.
The great batsman had to adapt a lot mentally as he hit just two centuries since the 2019 World Cup.
Post World Cup, there have been a lot of worries regarding Virat Kohli.
The lack of centuries has reflected on the results as India lost in Australia and were whitewashed by New Zealand.
The absence of Rohit Sharma to provide a start may have been a factor.
However, a look at the numbers may make one feel 2020 hasn’t been too bad for Virat Kohli.
Virat Kohli averaged 48 in 2020 with five half-centuries in nine-innings.
He has been dismissed regularly between 60 and 80, as he faced issues converting his starts to big centuries.
Despite conversion troubles, the number of fifties has shown how consistent he has been this year, failing to get past fifty on just one occasion.
His lack of achieving personal milestones extends to other formats too.
Virat Kohli is yet to score a half-century in T20is this year, with the highest score of 45.
On the contrary, 2019 has been a magnificent year for him as he scored five half-centuries.
He has three more T20is to make a change to his record in 2020.
He’s only played four innings in the longer format this year, which is too short a span to look at.
Though Virat Kohli may not have had his best year, his performance is a reminder of how the expectations keep rising.
Despite an average higher than most and strong starts, the year seems silent as we are very used to seeing Virat Kohli score big centuries.
The lack of centuries is a talking point, but his average tells a story that this hasn’t been too bad a year.
Looking deeper into Virat Kohli’s numbers this year, the nature of his dismissals has been impressive.
Virat Kohli has been dismissed by leg-spin on four occasions and has mostly fallen after an early wicket.
On occasions where Virat Kohli crossed the fifty mark, he was dismissed, looking to force the scoring.
With Hardik Pandya injured, the side seemed short on finishers, and the onus fell on Virat to ensure the scoring rate stays high.
With Manish Pandey and KL Rahul around, he had to ensure the job became more comfortable for them by pushing the scoring rate.
The change in approach has caused him to take more risks towards the end, which is a factor as to why he is dismissed after getting good starts.
During run chases as well, Virat Kohli has been dismissed while looking to speed up the scoring or when the openers failed to provide a platform.
With the premier openers injured, Virat Kohli was found walking in earlier than he would have liked.
Batting with a newer player puts more responsibility on Virat Kohli to go for shots and could be another factor behind his early dismissals on a few occasions.
Legendary batsman Sachin Tendulkar faced a similar situation in his career.
In his case, Sachin hit two test centuries and one ODI century in 2007.
Sachin was, however, dismissed in the 90s on numerous occasions, falling at ninety-nine twice.
He got off to good starts but lacked centuries.
It was also the year of the 2007 World Cup, in which India and Sachin Tendulkar receive a lot of criticism.
However, Sachin managed to put everything behind him as he started 2008 with a massive hundred, and the next three years went on to become some of his best.
Virat Kohli still has three T20is and a Test ahead.
He has looked in right touch, but the numbers haven’t favored him.
With a few more games to go, Virat Kohli still has a great chance to make a good year go better.
The lack of centuries is unlikely to disturb him much as he has maintained the consistency for which he is known.
His performance is crucial, as India will need all the momentum and energy they can get before leaving.
With Rohit Sharma not in the T20 side, the responsibility falls on Virat Kohli again to guide the batting line-up.
He has Shikhar Dhawan with him and a handful of youngsters as they look to take on the Australians after the ODI series loss.
The first T20I begins tomorrow in Canberra.