Virat Kohli, the support base balancing Indian batting from the last decade has not been in his best form for quite a while. Now statistics are out there to prove this assertion. Since 2019, Virat Kohli’s average is worse than a prominent pace bowler.
Yorker specialist has a better batting average than Kohli
Mitchell Starc, famous for his toe-crushing Yorkers has got one more reason to cheer for. From the last three years, Starc is scoring more runs per innings (in Test matches) than Virat Kohli. The latest statistics have revealed that from 2019, Starc’s average is 38.63; which is 1.46 points above Virat Kohli’s average. Kohli averages 37.17 during this interval.
Starc is not known for his batting. He is an out-an-out pace bowler who has excellent command over Yorkers. In fact, Australia’s victory in the 2015 world cup is directly credited to Starc. It’s true, he is a big hitter. However, the lanky pacer is not a reliable batsman. It is evident from the fact that Australians prefer Nathan Lyon for the role of a night watchman, rather than Starc.
Netizens bewildered over statistics
Netizens meanwhile seemed confused about these statistics. Some were quick to slam the original statistician for this comparison. On the other hand, some asked the statistician to compare the decadal average of both. Some were busy reminding Australia of the loss against India.
— Nilesh dhande (@Nileshdhande10) January 6, 2022
Wow, You people are comparing Starc with Kohli. LOL
— RAJNEESH KUMAR (@ImRajneeshkumar) January 6, 2022
— NAWAZ AHMED 🇮🇳 (@nawaz_ahmed_25) January 6, 2022
— Dev-02 (@Sam00838962) January 6, 2022
Statistical construct or a fact-based reality?
Average depends on two factors. It is calculated by dividing total runs from total innings in which the batsman is dismissed. One of these factors influencing the average is staying not out. If a batsman is not dismissed in an innings, his run tally increases but the tally of total innings remains the same. So, even if a batsman gets less opportunity to bat, he can increase his average by staying not out, along with scoring some runs.
In the context of averages of Starc and Kohli; Starc staying not out has created this gap. Due to batting lower down the order, Starc gets less opportunity to bat. Moreover, Starc also remained not out for a large number of innings. This created the statistical distortion of him averaging better than Kohli.
Kohli indeed is suffering from poor form
However, the statistical justification does not take away the fact that Kohli is in the worst form of his life. Kohli’s last century came in 2019 itself. Workload has affected his batting. For the first time in his career, he is having mental issues. He has been found chasing balls outside off-stumps on numerous occasions. Bowlers like James Anderson and Moeen Ali have left no stone unturned in exploiting loopholes in his batting.
An average of 26 from 2020 has affected his leadership as well. Under his leadership, India suffered a disastrous 10-wicket loss to Pakistan in T20 World Cup, 2021. The team was ousted from the tournament in the first round itself. Declining confidence prompted Kohli to resign from the T20 captaincy. Later, BCCI shacked him from ODI captaincy as well.
What Kohli is facing has happened to numerous players in the past. Bad form is an integral part of players’ careers. Every great has faced it. Their greatness depends on the fact that how quickly they got out of it. While a bad patch made Vinod Kambli a failure, Sachin Tendulkar emerged as the greatest of Indian cricket. We are yet to see the final legacy of dashing Kohli.