Are Kohli’s off-the-field exploits taking a toll on his performance on the pitch?


As the horrible batting exhibition from Virat Kohli continues his childhood coach Rajkumar Sharma advised him to “avoid playing strokes square off the wicket initially” in order to counter the swing; Indian media, on the other hand is becoming lot more interested in lambasting another Sharma behind VK’s current bad-patch.

This is the first time when BCCI is allowing girlfriend with cricketers during a tour to the foreign soil. BCCI claims that they deviated from their norms because the cricketers go through a lot of mental pressure in such a long tour of two and a half months. It was reported that Kohli had sought permission to have his alleged girlfriend Anushka Sharma with him in this tour to which BCCI responded affirmatively. Anushka reached London after the Trent Bridge test and was seen cheering for his man when Kohli came into the crease at Lords. She is staying in the same hotel with Kohli. But as the off-field happiness of Virat dwindles away in the match, the issue becomes viral in a media which is always looking for some scandals and crispy headlines.

Virat disappointed after being dismissed at old trafford

Before making Anushka the scapegoat, one also has to remind that the weakness of Virat in playing the balls outside off-stamp is never new. It did not grow as fatal as in the current tour, but it has always been a minor worry for him. He occasionally chased the balls which could have been easily left; and gifted his wicket to the opposition. Leaving the balls and playing late are two aspects which Indian batsmen lack very much after the Rahul Dravid era. VK has not been an exception, and the brilliant English bowling line up has exploited this loophole in his technique. Anderson and Broad maintained the line and length properly throughosut the series to fire their deliveries in his weak zone, causing a series of disastrous scores for Virat. They bowled a bit wider for Kohli, inviting him to chase the ball and Kohli fell prey to their tactics. Sachin faced similar sort of problems in an England tour; and his solution was to leave or defend the balls outside off-stamp. Virat should also try to play more horizontal bat shots to get rid of his problem.

Whatever may be the reason, his technique, or his personal issues, there is no denial of the fact that India is lacking a dependable No. 4 batsman. Virat must try to come over the troubles, and chase behind the problems he is having rather than chasing the unnecessary balls.