Kohli's barren patch


For a batsman who has dominated the batting charts over the last year- and- a- half in all three formats of the game, Virat Kohli’s highest score in the last four ODIs he has played is 15 — against England here on Friday.

You add the four T20Is he has played this season, two each against England and Pakistan — his highest individual score goes a tad bit higher to 38 — against England in Mumbai on December 22.

Having hit a purple patch over the last months, Kohli seemed invincible with bat in hand. Even as the other Indian batsmen floundered both home and away, rose like a phoenix to guide Team India respectability or even victory.

But all that changed in the Test series against England, and the flamboyant Delhi batsman has found it extremely difficult to show the skill and panache that had the world sitting up and taking note.

Speaking to Mail Today, former India player Madan Lal said it was a matter of time before the opposition found chinks his armour as technology has made it literally impossible for any batsman to hide his weaknesses.

When a batsman scores as prolifically Kohli has done in the past year- and- a half, it is obvious that every opponent would work overtime to find faults in his game. And I am not too surprised with the little struggle that he has had in the last couple of series, as that will only make him work harder and become a better player,” the former all- rounder said.

Also, the law of averages catches up with every player and Kohli is no exception.

He has had a terrific run and this happens to every player. But Kohli’s temperament is what sets him apart from the others and I am sure he will soon find new ways to thrash opposition bowlers apart.

"Just a matter of one good innings.”

Aakash Chopra, the former India opener, echoed Lal’s sentiments.

“You can’t keep smashing bowlers to all parts of the ground forever. The law of averages will catch up with you after a while and while he has had a few low scores, he shouldn’t be too worried,” Chopra told Mail Today.

Chopra feels that Kohli now needs to improvise a little and work on his technique further and make it watertight. “If you observe, Kohli has followed a strict regime and his batting pattern has been very much the same in every innings. He hasn’t been too versatile, thereby making it a little easier for the opposition bowlers to pick up his strengths and weaknesses. So he needs to improvise a little and maybe try a few new ways of playing,” he said.

“Another fact is that Kohli’s technique isn’t as solid as that of Sachin Tendulkar or Rahul Dravid. Kohli has been more about attitude and elegance. So now is the time when he should work on his technique as well. The Delhi team’s chief coach Vijay Dahiya, who has worked intensively with Kohli at the Ranji level, feels it’s just a matter of one good innings and Kohli will be back.

“He is just one knock away from getting back into form. Sometimes you try a little too hard when you are going through a bad run, so he has got to be a little patient. But trust me, Kohli is too good a player to miss out for too long,” he said.

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