India’s tour of New Zealand spread across about six weeks is nearing its end. The Men in Blue kicked off their campaign against the Blacks Caps on a high. Virat Kohli’s men whitewashed the hosts in the five-match T20I series. The T20I series had loads of drama as two games required a super-over to decide the winner. However, the tables turned around in the ODI leg. New Zealand bounced back and clean swept the three-match ODI series.
India’s dismal show continued in the longest format as well. The visitors faced a 10-wicket loss in the first Test match in Wellington and are on the back foot in the ongoing second game too.
One of the main reasons behind India’s horror show since the ODI series is the abysmal form of Virat Kohli. In the Kiwi land on this tour, Kohli has registered just one 50+ score which came in the first ODI in Hamilton. The right-handed batsman averaged 26.25 in the T20I series, 25 in the ODI series and is averaging just eight in the Test series so far. Kohli who was expected to be among the top scorers is having a miserable time in New Zealand, considering his sky-high standards.
Virat has accumulated 443 runs with three fifties in 15 innings across formats in 2020 so far. His current batting of this year (31.64) is the lowest for him in any year. However, we should expect that to improve with year moving forward. But, Kohli is not having a good time this year so far.
Is it fair to troll Kohli?
The 31-year-old has lost his form during an important overseas tour. The teams require their best batsmen to step up to win matches on overseas tours, and Kohli hasn’t lead from the front so far. Due to his current form, the Indian skipper is trolled badly on social media, particularly on Twitter. Almost every player faces trolling whenever he goes through a lean patch, and Kohli is no exception. The opportunists have got a chance to mock the biggest cricketer in the world at the moment.
New Zealand’s team management also deserves a fair share of credit for not allowing Kohli to score. He is the best batsman on the planet currently. However, the hosts have got the better of Kohli because of their excellent planing and the correct execution of plans.
Kohli has set a very high bar as far as his performance is concerned. Since his debut in 2008, the Delhi-born batsman is the leading run-scorer (21,887 runs). He has also registered the most number of 50+ scores including 70 centuries. Because of his hunger and determination, Kohli has got only better with time. He kept learning and adding more weapons in his arsenal, and is inarguably the best batsman currently.
In the period from 2016 to 2019, Kohli was in an incredible form. You can call it God-level mode; yeah, not an exaggeration. In the mentioned duration, the ‘King’ of the cricket amassed 10,603 runs with a sublime average of over 71 in 186 innings across formats. The second-highest run-scorer (Joe Root) was 2,136 runs behind Kohli, despite playing eight extra innings.
Despite Kohli’s current form, it will be foolish to doubt Kohli’s skills. The ‘modern master’ has scored runs in every format and almost every part of the word wherever he has played. Kohli has not only adapted himself to different formats wonderfully but also carried on the consistency for a long time.
His current form is a bit shaky but people should remember such times do come. In 2014, Kohli had a miserable time in England but he worked on his game and made a strong comeback. It will be a bit too much to compare that tour of England with this New Zealand tour. But, it displays nothing but his mental strength to come back stronger after failures.
The Indian talisman has still one inning to play on this tour and would be eager to make that count.