IPL 2017: Virat Kohli's travails and the impending redemption
Kohli has had a dismal showing of late with a doomed campaign in the IPL. He can be expected to retaliate strongly and soon in the CT.
"Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." - Confucius
If one were to live under a rock post the India vs England test series of 2016 and then be made aware of how Virat Kohli had fared since then, they’d probably head back to under this fabled rock out of utter disbelief and disenchantment. Such is the aura of the man who brilliantly led his men en route to one of the most successful home seasons ever with all but a solitary blemish against the Aussies at Pune.
Kohli, the translation for consistency, commitment, and class who lets his passion own him in the field and delivers imperiously. There is never a dull moment with him leading his motley crew of inspired men against the top cricketing sides of the world with grit, determination and an unwavering focus to win at any cost.
The team under his ascendancy is unafraid to wear the batch of favourites and has more often than not, justified the tag with corresponding performances in the cricketing arena. His leadership has been decisive and accountable, with Kohli dotting the celebrated victories of Team India with an array of impressive performances of his own.
High expectations of him were persistently met with stellar shows of batsmanship which resulted in the corralling of the proverbial purple patch for him as an individual with a rolling juggernaut of victories for Team India.
Pune seemed an aberration. Bengaluru raised some eyebrows. Ranchi was a death knell. The much-anticipated Border – Gavaskar trophy began on an anticlimactic note with the ‘underdog’ visitors stunning the favourites in dramatic fashion, a loss that was brushed aside as a one-off anomaly in an otherwise invincible season for Team India. However, the tenacity of the team came to the fore in ensuring a series-levelling win in the very next match at the Chinnaswamy.
The common denominator in both the matches, though, had been Kohli’s low scores. Then came the inaugural test match in Dhoni’s hometown where the ever agile Virat, suffered a shoulder strain while diving to save a boundary. This meant an extended layoff and robbed him of the chance to stamp his authority on that series as well as cap a memorable series win in picturesque Dharamsala.
Then commenced the Indian Premier League, which had been set ablaze by Kohli in its 9th edition by amassing almost a 1000 runs including 4 centuries! Despite his heroics, Royal Challengers Bangalore were outplayed in the finals by Sunrisers Hyderabad in a high octane chase and so the title hopes were dashed and the expectations renewed afresh in this 10th iteration of the tournament.
Normal service resumed for the RCB only in the 4th match with Kohli taking over the mantle from Watson and immediately striking form with a fluent fifty, albeit in a losing cause. With both Gayle and Kohli firing in Rajkot against the Gujarat Lions, everyone assumed that the RCB galacticos were back to their brutal best, and would now be a force to reckon with. Alas, what panned out subsequently was absolutely nightmarish for Kohli and Co.
A forgettable campaign with a string of losses with no respite in sight. Troublesome form for the man himself and little support from his teammates in failed run-chases and consequent collapses. There are absolutely zilch positives to emanate from RCB’s horrendous 2017 season.
Kohli had ample firepower in the batting department to compensate for the rather emaciated bowling reserves but nothing has seemed to click for the Team which now holds the dubious distinction of having both the lowest as well as the highest team totals in IPL history!
Of late, Kohli’s emoted variously from being livid to plain helpless. This isn’t a critique of his proven credentials but the drudgery that he’s been subjected to courtesy a lackadaisical T20 team that cannot seem to do anything right.
He has exhausted all his options and has stared down the barrel of defeat far more than what he is accustomed to. Kohli thrives on his pride and justifiably so, his numbers are a testament to his tremendous ability and achievements. With India’s participation in the Champion’s Trophy confirmed, one can surely hope that the run machine starts buzzing once again, much to the chagrin of all his opponents.