New Zealand vs India 2020: Why Virat Kohli's lack of form is a worrying sign for India's immediate future
- Kohli will definitely find a way to overcome the flaw. But as of now, the signs are alarming for India as well as for the skipper himself.
Virat Kohli must be wondering what is going wrong. The batting maestro was out for a cheap score yet again, at a time when India badly needed him to fire. It was a dismissal very similar to the first innings, and this time it was Colin de Grandhomme who accounted for the legend.
The ball nipped back in, and struck Kohli dead in front of the stumps. The Indian skipper departed for 14, and India were left reeling at 90/6 at the end of the day's play.
The truly alarming fact is that in his last six international innings, Kohli has not even crossed the 20-run mark. His run of scores reads 14, 3, 19, 2, 9 and 15.
Kohli's last international hundred came in November 2019, when he scored 136 against Bangladesh in the historic day-night Test. Since then, he has failed to kick on even after getting starts in a few innings.
In the entire Test series against New Zealand, Kohli has aggregated a miserable 38 runs, and has endured a torrid time in the seaming and swinging conditions. And that is a worrying sign for the team as well as for the skipper.
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Once again the moving ball has caught Kohli unawares.
In the first innings of the first Test, Kohli went after a ball that swung away from him; he edged the cherry straight into the hands of first slip. The right-hander was nowhere close to the pitch of the ball, which showed his lack of preparation.
In both his dismissals during the second Test, Kohli failed to read the ball that came back into him and was caught in the crease. That again betrayed his inability to cope with movement.
More than the low scores, it is the manner of the dismissals that should worry the Indian think-tank. He has been out bowled or LBW in four out of his last six international innings, and every time the ball has come back in to him and caught him off guard.
This is Kohli’s lowest aggregate in a series that involves a minimum of two Test matches. That is totally unexpected, given how confident he was about his form even after the first Test.
"I am absolutely fine. I am batting really well. I feel that sometimes scores don't reflect the way you are batting and that's what can happen when you don't execute what you want to well. Look when you play so much cricket and you play for so long, obviously you will have 3-4 innings that don't go your way. If you try and make too much out of it, it'll keep piling on,” he had said last week.
But the runs have dried up from the bat of the Indian skipper, and that has had a direct impact on India’s poor performance in the ODI and Test series against the Kiwis. Right now India are in danger of folding for a below-par total in the second innings, which would allow the hosts to canter past an easy target - and thereby seal the series.
Kohli is only 31 and will definitely find a way to overcome the flaw. But as of now, the signs are alarming for India as well as for the skipper himself.Published 01 Mar 2020, 13:19 IST