In his last essay of captaincy duties in franchise cricket, Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore were blown away by an imposing opposition in Kolkata Knight Riders. The team suffered a deflating 9 wickets defeat in which Kohli, whilst opening the batting, perished on the lowly score of 5. Even after starting the tournament well, the team has suffered 3 defeats in the last 5 games and there is no certainty that Kohli and his men might advance into the playoff phase, and, that in microcosm explains the issues plaguing Kohli.
The sudden decision to give up captaincy
The last few weeks have been difficult for Kohli on the professional front. Citing workload management, Kohli announced that he will be stepping away from captaincy duties after the T20 world cup. Then came the news that Kohli tried to jeopardize Rohit Sharma’s spot in the team by trying to strip him of the vice-captaincy duties.
Reportedly, Kohli had suggested the BCCI selection committee remove his deputy Rohit Sharma from his position of India’s white-ball vice-captain which did not go down well with the Board. The BCCI is currently being led by Sourav Ganguly who as a player and administrator is known for backing players and not throwing them under the bus.
Read More: It seems that it was Ganguly who “told” Kohli to quit T20 captaincy
However, what came as a surprise was his decision to give up the IPL captaincy, after being at the helm of affairs for more than seven years. If anyone has heard and seen Kohli over the last few years, he has been extremely vocal about taking the challenges of captaincy head-on and trying to relish the pressure. Thus, it comes as a surprise that within a fortnight, a titan of the game tamely gives up on his biggest responsibility in the cricketing field.
The agonizing wait for the 71st
What goes up must eventually come down and Kohli, who had been at the pinnacle of his powers from 2016-2018, smashing centuries for fun, almost making a mockery of bowling line ups, has been on a downward spiral. Sure, the Test match arena is somewhere that Kohli has truly found his footing, barring the aberration of the World Test Championship (WTC) Final but he is yet to unlock the mantra for a limited-overs game.
It hasn’t helped Kohli’s cause that his batting that often redeemed his captaincy failures has not been exactly firing all cylinders for the better part of the last one and a half years.
Kohli has not scored an international hundred since November 2019. His clock has been stuck on 70 centuries, refusing to tick further. The fans have been anxiously and patiently waiting, only to be left disappointed every single time.
Kohli is trying too hard
Former Indian women’s cricketer Anjum Chopra recently remarked that Kohli had been trying excessively hard to come out on top of things. She said, “I think he is trying too hard. I feel he is trying very, very hard to be error-free,” said Chopra. “He knows he has got the game and the temperament, but when you focus too much, sometimes you tend to falter. I just feel he is making a slight error in judgement.”
Woke Kohli and his social media activism
Kohli’s chastening with his moral side of things and inadvertent social media activism is something that has not found any fans either. Last year, once again, he was seen preaching to Hindus on the occasion of Diwali to not burst crackers by releasing a video.
“A very happy Diwali from me to you and your families. May God bless you with peace, prosperity and happiness this Diwali. Please remember do not burst crackers, protect the environment, and have fun at home with your loved ones with a simple diya and sweets on this auspicious occasion. God bless you all, take care,” Kohli was heard saying in his video message.
Happy Diwali 🙏🏻 pic.twitter.com/USLnZnMwzT
— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) November 14, 2020
Social media users pointed out how Virat Kohli had been a first-hand witness to a firework display in Dubai, organized solely for the purpose of celebrating the Indian cricket team captain’s birthday. Kohli was accompanied by his wife Anushka Sharma for the celebrations. In the video, shared by RCB’s official handle, crackers can be seen being burst in the background right before Kohli and Anushka cut cake together.
Why do they always have issue with Hindu festivals whether it's Diwali or Holi pic.twitter.com/GdKKCc7C6Q
— Hardik (@Humor_Silly) November 14, 2020
Ganguly wanting an ICC trophy
Despite inheriting a potent pace bowling attack that none of the previous captains like MS Dhoni and Sourav Ganguly had the luxury to the field, Kohli has failed to win any ICC trophy. The empty cabinet across international as well as franchise cricket speaks volumes about his failure as a captain.
The clock had started to tick in 2019 when Sourav Ganguly took over. At the time, he had sternly reminded Kohli that he needed to win an ICC trophy. Ganguly said, “My only thing is that they need to win big tournaments. They are not going to win every time but they have gone through seven tournaments without winning one,”
Perhaps, the T20 world cup, scheduled to begin in less than a month is the frontier that Kohli, if he conquers, might help him sign off in a high and protect his 50-over captaincy, which otherwise looks in danger.