Virat Kohli finds himself in a very unfamiliar place. For the first time in many years, the Indian batting maestro will enter an international series with his back against the wall, in a bid to get some runs under his belt.
In the whole of 2020, Kohli has not scored a single international hundred. In fact, his scores in his last six international innings read 14, 3, 19, 2, 9 and 15. The Indian skipper has not been able to cross the 20-run mark in his last six international innings. Kohli averaged a miserable 9.50 in the Test series against the Kiwis, and endured a torrid run in India’s first overseas tour of the year.
Once again, the moving ball in seaming and swinging conditions caught Kohli off guard. He endured one of the worst tours of his career, and the Indian team also received a sound thrashing in both the ODI as well as the Test series.
That is why, the ODI series against South Africa assumes importance for the champion batsman. First, it is in more familiar conditions at home which will allow Kohli to play with a little more confidence as compared to another overseas tour. Second, it is India’s last international assignment before we get into IPL mode. Kohli will certainly look to get some runs under his belt against the Proteas.
Also, it will allow him to get into his groove as captain. India were whitewashed in both the ODI as well as the Test series, in which the series loss wasn’t even a close one. It was an old fashioned thrashing that the Indian team suffered with both the Tests not even entering the fifth day.
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As captain, Kohli will look to get his team back to winning ways. The Indian skipper is a man who always looks at the challenge in the eye and seeks to vanquish it. He always likes to get on top of the game and dictate the proceedings. Kohli was unable to do that in the tough tour of New Zealand, both with the bat and as a leader.
But now, as India head home and play in more familiar conditions, Kohli will look to assert his dominance and get back to winning ways. That is why, this series assumes importance for Kohli. The man is a champion and will definitely bounce back stronger than we think he is capable of and the ODI series against South Africa provides the ideal platform for Kohli to do so.