After going nearly three years without an international century, Virat Kohli has scored two this year, but questions around his ‘poor form’ simply don’t end. In September during the Asia Cup, Kohli ended his long wait for an international hundred when he smashed his maiden T20I century against Afghanistan. Kohli, who was going through a rough phase in the first half of the year, came roaring back in the T20 World Cup, emerging as the leading run-scorer of the tournament with four half-centuries and playing that blazing knock of 92 not out against Pakistan. And more recently, just two days ago, Kohli ended his ODI century drought by slamming his 44th ton during the dead rubber against Bangladesh and celebrated it in style.
It’s safe to say that Kohli is back, but there will always be a fair section of the public who will not sway away from associating the term ‘poor form’ with him. One such incident took place when India’s stand-in captain KL Rahul addressed the press conference two days before the 1st Test against Bangladesh. Rahul, who will take command of the team in place of the injured Rohit Sharma, was asked by a journalist if he is worries with Kohli’s poor form, to which he had a rather classy response.
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Journalist: “Virat hasn’t had a particularly good year as far as red-ball cricket is concerned. We all know how great a player he is. Now that he has got a T20 century and a hundred in the ODIs as well, do you think his ‘poor form’ is behind now?”
Rahul: “We haven’t really played too much Test cricket for you to pass that statement. He has been in good form; he has done really well for us in T20 cricket. Recently, he got that hundred against Bangladesh here. Obviously, he will take some confidence into the Test matches as well.”
The period which the reporter was referring to was in the first quarter of the year but as the statistics suggest, Kohli hasn’t exactly struggled in Tests. In fact, in 2022, Kohli has played four Tests, scoring 220 runs with one half-century – 79 against South Africa in Cape Town, which ended up being his final match as India captain. The two Tests against Sri Lanka weren’t exactly rosy either as for the first time during the series, Kohli’s Test average dropped below 50 since 2017.
Kohli then featured for India in the rescheduled fifth Test against England from last year, where he scored 11 and 20. He proceeded to play the ODIs and T20I against England, and even though India won both, Kohli’s form left a lot to be desire. After another low-key series, Kohli took a short break, missing India’s tours of West Indies and Zimbabwe before returning rejuvenated at the Asia Cup.
“He’s been around for so long. He is such an experienced player. His mindset, his passion for the team has always remained the same, the commitment that he gives for the team, it’s been on show for everyone to see, you can’t really question that. He is a great player and has always found a way to get runs and do the job for his team and I am sure he will do that again,” Rahul added.