A couple of half-centuries in consecutive matches are supposed to be a mark of finesse for any batsman in the world. Sadly, for Kohli, it is met with criticism that the Indian captain hasn’t been up to the snuff.
This fact itself proves the high bar that Kohli has set for himself over the glittering span of his cricketing career. He couldn’t garner a century since 2019 and he still holds the record of being the third-highest owner of centuries with 70 blistering tons under his belt.
Truth be told, he hasn’t kissed those sky-high figures and has been in tumultuous touch in the ongoing England tour, especially after being repeatedly dismissed in the same area and in the same fashion. He has been nicking the ball to the slip cordon or the wicket-keeper, trying to drive at the ball that is being bowled on the corridor of uncertainty on the off-stump and made to move back in.
In this story, we will try and take a look at five reasons why Kohli has struggled so badly in England in the summer of 2021.
#1 Unrestrained tendency to knock around the off-stump
Rohit Sharma displayed an excellent technique in the last session of Day 2 at the Oval the technique to trade the balls outside off-stump. Kohli, for some reason, has been very skeptical about his off-side line and in an attempt to drive the deliveries looming in that corridor of uncertainty, has been consistently nicking the balls. Being candid the solitary resolve to this problem is how one would trade the deliveries outside off. It is not easy to play them with the ball drifting in and out and hence, the perfect solution for the same is to let go. Barring the deliveries that are jagging back in menacingly close to the stump, the batsman will have to let it go. In the last two innings, Kohli has managed to arrest his desire to poke at those deliveries to a certain extent but that exerting squeeze from the fast bowlers has compelled him to drive again. This is one of the biggest mistakes that he has been making throughout the tour.
#2 The consistent ask of runs from the captain has been acting as an obstacle
There is a phase that every cricketer has to go through which is not a familiar one to the world. This is the time when failure is consistent and it becomes even more challenging with every added failure. Kohli is going through such a phase and the consistent demand of runs from the Indian captain is making life a living hell for the Indian captain. Ideally, these situations make or break a batsman. Kohli’s fluidity with the bat earlier in his career has made us relentless towards him. This isn’t a mistake on his part but it is interesting to see how he learns to deliver in such a tough situation.
#3 The lines between aggression and downright confrontation are blurring
Kohli is one of the most aggressive captains, India has ever seen. Sadly, for him, this aggression is no longer confined to only screams and gestures on the field. His aggression is taking more of a stance as a confrontational spectrum in his batting too. Instead of holding back, as soon as he is up against Anderson or Robinson, he has this consistent urge to drive and that is what has led to his downfall. It is a good thing to take a step back at times and somewhere I believe Kohli can use this for himself. Maybe, if he is calm enough to let those balls fly into the keeper’s gloves, he can capitalize on the other deliveries and make good use of his turnstile wrists to inflict misery upon the English bowlers.