Indian captain Virat Kohli was dismissed cheaply for just 2 in Wellington on Friday by debutant Kyle Jamieson extending a rare lull in the batsman’s stellar career. Throughout the ongoing New Zealand tour, Kohli has managed to score just a single fifty across 8 innings in all 3 international formats.
Since hitting 136 vs Bangladesh in November 2019, Kohli has now failed to touch the 3-figure mark in 19 international innings on the trot, capping his worst run of form since the horrid 2014 tour to England. While judging a batsman’s form on the basis of the frequency of hundreds might sound too unfair, in Kohli’s case such low phases have been symptomatic of a wretched run with the bat.
In his more than 11-years-old international career, there have been only 2 other phases where Kohli has failed to score a hundred in more than 19 innings. The 1st bad phase of Kohli’s career spanned from February to September 2011 when he failed to hit a hundred in 24 consecutive innings. During this period, Kohli’s overall batting average dipped sharply from 48 before the 2011 World Cup to 39 in a space of 7 months.
Just about 3 years later, Kohli endured the worst period with the bat in international cricket when he failed to touch triple-figures for 25 successive innings from February to October 2014. This included the horror England tour where he could score only 134 runs in 5 Tests as he kept getting lured outside the off-stump by James Anderson and Co. ultimately gifting his wicket.
Kohli’s current hundred-drought is now the 3rd worst of his career and the 2nd since that England tour. Till the end of India’s last Test series vs Bangladesh, Kohli was hitting an international hundred almost every 6th innings.
Another stat that proves Kohli’s poor run is the number of fifties hit during these 3 phases. While Kohli has managed just 6 fifties in the last 19 innings, he had hit the same number of half-centuries during the 2014 phase and just 4 in 2011.
But what would worry Kohli more than not scoring a hundred is the fact that his dismissal on Friday was quite reminiscent of his mode of dismissals during the 2014 England tour. Balls pitching on a good length just outside the off-stump, straightening a wee bit but enough to lure Kohli into a drive as he edges it to the slips cordon had become a common sight against the Dukes in England.
Kohli, being Kohli, made s grand statement when he visited England in 2018 smashing 593 runs removing all doubts about a crack in his batting technique. After his latest dismissal, the Indian captain would be vary of not falling into the same trap for the rest of his stay in New Zealand.