Ahead of the fourth match of the Test series between India and England, there has been a lot of stir. And can the Indian team find any chance for itself in the midst of all this. This match is going to be very important in terms of the outcome of the series.
How the performance of the Indian team will be largely depend on its charismatic captain Virat Kohli. Like other influential captains, Kohli has also made this team a fighting and resourceful team.
But, of course, there comes a time when bounded rules, formulas, tips and self-control don’t work. This is the time for Kohli.
In the world of cricket, it is said that the effect of the runs released with the bat is visible on the captaincy. There is a glow in it. So it’s also natural that the core strengths of Kohli’s character – confidence, swag, resourcefulness, his energy to propel the team through difficult times – will all remain in balance as long as he is scoring runs.
And now Kohli’s bat is angry with him. This has happened despite Kohli not being out of form traditionally.
Kohli had said after the Leeds Test that the team management would not select on the basis of individual performance, but his entire focus was only on the team. But it seems that on the contrary, Kohli would like to consider his batting. He will go to the drawing board to see where the mistake is going and how it can be rectified. He did the same thing after failing in the England series in 2014.
It won’t be easy for Kohli as every expert has found one or two lacunae in his technique. Everything has been attributed from ‘Kohli’s shoulder balance to his backfoot position to his shot selection and standing out of the crease’. Kohli has a habit of coming on the front foot and because of this, the balls coming in have troubled him.
Kohli is constantly being caught behind the wicket in England when the outer edge of the bat is hit. The ball is hitting good length and the Indian captain is struggling on it. But it is not that this drought of runs started with the England series itself.
After 81 Test matches, Kohli’s career average has been 55.10. He scored 254 runs against South Africa in October 2019. In the 14 Test matches he has played since then, he has averaged 28.04. Since his last Test century against Bangladesh, he has scored runs in 11 Test matches at an average of 24.68. He scored a century against Bangladesh at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata.
Kohli also maintains the pace of scoring runs. His strike rate after 81 matches is 57.63. At the same time, in the last 11 Test matches, it has come down to 42.90. He has not scored a century in the last 19 Test innings.
It is a good sign that Kohli scored a half-century after eight Test innings. However, in this half century, Kohli did not appear in his old colors from anywhere.
Kohli is going through tough times but great batsmen know that such times come and go. Initially, Kohli will have to deviate from his fixed beliefs. Sometimes you have to step back to move forward. This trick might work for Kohli too.
Virat Kohli (Reuters Photo)