Why we should not dwell too much into Virat Kohli's failure in the New Zealand Test series
- What distinguishes champions is their ability to bounce back every time they have their backs against the wall.
2,19,3 and 14. These were the scores of India’s skipper and arguably the greatest batsmen of the modern era in the recent Test series against New Zealand. The moving ball in overcast conditions caught the master batsman unawares.
But then, the reaction to this failure has been too much. People have gone on to analyse Kohli’s technique and are probably reading too much into a failure on a single overseas tour. In fact, this is what legendary Indian batsman, VVS Laxman had to say.
"Virat Kohli's form has definitely been the biggest let down for the Indian team because when your top batsman, probably the best in the world, averages 9 (9.50 to be precise) in the two Test matches, I think it is going to be tough for the visiting side. They didn't show any fight in the Tests."
The problem with Kohli has been that he has been in such unreal form in the last five years, that anything less than a fifty is deemed as a failure. Kohli had been amongst the runs before the New Zealand tour. In the Test series against South Africa in October, he scored his highest Test score (254*). He also smashed a sensational hundred against Bangladesh in India’s first ever day-night Test at the Eden Gardens.
Even in the recent ODI series against Australia in January 2020, Kohli played a pivotal role in India winning the series by contributing two fifties in the last two ODIs of the three match rubber. Even in the first ODI against the Kiwis, the Indian skipper scored a half century.
Every batsman goes through a phase when the runs dry up. Sachin Tendulkar suffered a tennis elbow injury that threatened to cut his career short. But then, the master came back strongly and had a sensational second wind between 2008 and 2010, winning the ICC International Cricketer of the Year award for the year - 2010.
Kohli himself, had gone through a similar phase in 2014. In the entire tour of England, Kohli could muster just 134 runs across 10 innings at a miserable average of 13.4. People questioned his technique then, and his tendency to go hard at the ball in overcast conditions. But the Indian talisman went back to the nets, worked on his back lift and pulverized bowling attacks across the world. He scored four centuries on the subsequent overseas tour of Australia.
Fans shall have to understand this - Virat Kohli too, is human and is bound to fail. But then, what distinguishes champions is their ability to bounce back every time they have their backs against the wall. Undoubtedly Kohli is a champion who looks at the challenge in the eye and vanquishes it. He will definitely be back amongst the runs and lead the charge with the bat sooner than we think.
Dwelling too much into a single failure and make harsh criticisms is unfair at a man who has been the backbone of the side for the last decade.
Published 04 Mar 2020, 14:04 IST