BENGALURU: There were doubts that Virat Kohli, after taking over Test captaincy from MS Dhoni in 2014, might not get as many runs due to pressures of leading the side.
But in the last year alone, he scored 1,215 runs at an average of 60.41, and no one raised that question again. He even became the first-ever batsman to score four double hundreds in four series.
However, after the double ton against Bangladesh last month, he has not lived up to his reputation, as witnessed by his scores in the current series against Australia.
He scored 0 and 13 in the defeat in Pune, and accrued 12 and 15 runs in the ongoing second Test in Bengaluru. Although his lbw decision in the second innings was a close call, which will surely lead to some introspection regarding DRS and hot-spot once the game is done and dusted.
The decision didn’t go down well with Kohli as he was seen furious in the dressing room. Sanjay Bangar, India’s batting coach, backed Kohli and termed the captain’s annoyance a normal reaction. “Virat was really pumped up. He wanted to succeed very badly in this innings. And his reaction was the same as any batsman in the dressing room when he gets out cheaply.
We all were bit surprised by the decision as well.”
Bangar, however, thinks Kohli’s series of poor scores is temporary, and that the 28-year-old will pull himself up in the games to come. “Such phases come in everybody’s career. Virat has been outstanding recently, but we need to accept such successes are accompanied by some failures as well,” Bangar said.
“It’s a question of mindset. If you struggle with the thought of failure, it won’t benefit you. I think Virat has a mindset to accept things quickly, and he then tries to learn from them. That is his greatness. In the matches to come, he’ll perform well, undoubtedly,” he added.
The Australian camp was however happy to get Kohli out quickly. Pacer Josh Hazlewood felt the Pune and Bengaluru pitches were difficult to bat on, and thus Kohli couldn’t score big. “We’ve stuck to our plan against him, and been successful. All the bowlers have got him out once at least. So, it’s good stuff moving forward,” Hazlewood said.