With the confirmation of India participating in the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 in England, the focus will once against shift from IPL to international cricket as the 2013 winners are officially cleared to defend their title on the same soil.
As the selectors sit on Monday (8th May 2017) to announce the final squad, all attention will be on whether IPL performers like Gautam Gambhir, Robin Uthappa and Rishabh Pant make it to the 15-member squad. However, irrespective of all those, the Indian think tank have a lot to worry at hand, the primary being skipper Virat Kohli’s lean patch.
Kohli has failed to replicate his IPL 2016 success this year, something which has hurt RCB’s chances in the tournament badly. In RCB’s penultimate match of the season, Kohli was once again dismissed for a single digit score against KKR, leaving him with only one match to play before flying out to England for CT. Hence we take a look at three factors which prove Kohli is not in the best shape going in to his first international assignment as a skipper.
Inconsistency in IPL 10
Injuring himself in the Test series against Australia, Kohli missed the initial matches for RCB in the season. When he returned, he looked in fine nick, scoring 154 runs from the first 3 games though it did not really change Bangalore’s fortunes in the tournament. But thereafter, the Indian skipper could not keep up the sustained tempo and failures started to creep in. Barring a knock of 55 against RPS, Kohli has managed only 41 runs from the last five games. With just one match left in RCB colours, Kohli needs to find something special to regain his form ahead of Champions Trophy.
Abysmal performance in the test series against Australia
After a fabulous show against England and Bangladesh in the tests, Kohli was expected to dominate the Australian bowling attack from the very onset in the 4-match test series. But the reality did not go according to most experts’ prediction. He started off with a duck, which the Indian fans hoped for a one-off failure. However, it was just the beginning as 46 runs were all that Kohli could score in five innings against the Aussies, with a highest score of just 15. Coming on the back of four consecutive double tons in as many test series, it is inexplicable as to why Kohli’s form turned upside down against Australia.
Poor record in England
Kohli is yet to score a half-century in England even after having played five tests there. The ace batsman averages only 13.40 in 10 innings on the English soil. He struggled to adjust in the cloudy swinging conditions of England, falling victim to pacers on 9 out of 10 occasions.
INDIA tour of ENGLAND 2014 Lord Virat Kohli in 10 innings 1 8 0 25 28 39 7 0 6 20 Total = 134 in 10 innings
James Anderson was the chief tormentor for Kohli, dismissing the current Indian skipper four times in the 2014 test series. Even in ODIs, Kohli’s average in England is only 38.5 as compared to his career one of 53.
Also Read: Is Gautam Gambhir ready for Indian inclusion?