Analyzing what went wrong for Virat Kohli in New Zealand
- Virat Kohli had the worst Test series of his International career so far. What really went wrong?
What do we conclude from the dismissals?
Kohli might have had his worst Test series as a batsman, but there is surely not a lot of things he'll be worried about. The first Test was all about poor shot selection. This tends to happen when a batsman is in the middle of a lean phase. In terms of technique, there isn't much to work on. Had that been the case, he wouldn't have scored as many runs as he has all across the globe on a regular basis. But as they say, there is always room for improvement.
It has more to do with mental strength. As Kohli also said after the loss that the Indian batsmen got a little too worried about the conditions. Too much talk about the conditions can result in creeping up of doubts in the mind of the batsmen. It definitely happened with Kohli, especially in the second Test. Going through a bad phase, batting first in unfavourable conditions and losing early wickets were certainly too much to handle even for Kohli. In both the innings, he tried to cover for the swing that wasn't there. Definitely a case of overestimating the conditions.
So what lies next?
India will host South Africa for the next series, who are themselves facing their own problems. It will be a great opportunity for the Men in Blue and Kohli, in particular, to make a statement following an underwhelming performance against the Black Caps. It will be a huge test of mental strength for the Indian skipper and having seen his recent past, Kohli is more likely to come out of this failure stronger than ever before. Remember the Australian summer of 2014-15 after the English summer?
Kohli would definitely want to work on this issue regarding the head position. He is someone who loves to plant that front foot across the stumps as this enables him to get closer to the balls outside off. It also enables Kohli to get a huge stride and nail those cover drives. So one thing he might try is to move a little too across so that even if he is struck on the pad, the impact is outside the line of the stumps. The other thing he may try is to tighten his stance a bit and reduce the back and across movement a bit so that the head doesn't fall over. Having said this, it is all on Kohli to try and figure out what works best for him.