Virat Kohli is the darling of Indian cricket fans. His elegant strokes and envious records have made the India captain a champion. But something different is happening at the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017.
Kohli’s team Royal Challengers Bangalore is on a five-match losing streak and the captain has not been able to inspire his team to a win, scoring above 20 only once in those five games.
The 28-year-old again failed to perform on Friday, as his team slumped to a 19-run loss to Kings XI Punjab, despite having to chase a lowly score of 138/6. Kohli was out for 6 as RCB were dismissed for 119.
Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar is irked at Kohli’s show in the past few matches. More than his failure to score big, Gavaskar is irritated at the way the talented Kohli hs been getting out.
“First thing he should be doing is look himself in the mirror. The shot he played (against KXIP) wasn’t exactly a great shot. The shot he played at Eden Gardens (against KKR) wasn’t a great shot,” Gavaskar said in the post-match analysis of the RCB-KXIP match for the official broadcaster.
Against KXIP, he charged down against Sandeep Sharma and swung the bat hard. He missed the inswinger completely and was bowled. Against Kolkata Knight Riders, on April 23, the RCB captain was out for a duck.
In the third ball of a 131-run chase, Kohli went for a wild drive against Nathan Coulter-Nile and was caught by Manish Pandey in the second slip.
Gavaskar said that Kohli should bat with more responsibility, considering he is the captain a team that is not doing well in the IPL.
“He (Kohli) has got to say to himself that he is the captain. He has got to stay there. He is not in form so stay there and he should work himself with proper cricketing shots then widen the scope of the shots,” Gavaskar said.
The Kohli-led RCB have five points from 12 matches and are out of contention for as play-off berth in the 2017 edition.
This is in sharp contrast to the 2016 edition when Kohli scored four centuries to take his team into the final. He missed the early part of the 2017 edition with a shoulder injury. Though he scored three half-centuries after coming back, it has not been able to lift the spirits of RCB this season.
Gavaskar also criticised the way other RCB batsmen got out in the KXIP match.
“Apart from (Chris) Gayle, who was deceived by late movement, Virat (Kohli) went for that big six shot, AB de Villiers went for that big six shot, Mandeep Singh, having settled down, went for the big shot. So, there you are,” he said.
“Your main batsmen went for the glamour shots instead of looking to play proper cricketing shots. Get the boundary. Between a four and a six the difference is two runs. Because you hit the ball in the air (for six), the risk percentage goes up to a 100.”