India are all set to fly to UAE for the upcoming Asia Cup were Rohit Sharma and co. will be upbeat to defend their crown and be fully prepared ahead of the ICC WT20 down under. Amidst all the craze amongst fans regarding whether a new challenger will rise up to conquer the Asian title, all eyes will also be on the return of Virat Kohli to the team after a break from international cricket.
The former captain recently completed 14 years of his international career. In all these years, he has truly ruled the roost across all formats and has deservedly earned the tags of the chase master and run-machine. However, post-pandemic, his ever-soaring career saw an abrupt dip which has now continued to be quite a long rough patch for a cricketer who made consistency his identity.
The downfall of King Kohli
The cricket fraternity is at large divided in opinions. While some have backed the veteran’s experience any have even questioned his inclusion in the squad despite such a long string of poor performances. The dearth of ICC trophies has been a big worry in the Indian camp over the last couple of years. The woes at such mega tournaments have also been highlighted as the major letdowns of Kohli’s otherwise illustrious captaincy stint. After the heartbreaking WT20 campaign last year, the state of affairs in the team environment has clearly indicated that it’s more like a do-or-die situation considering their reputation at the global level.
Read Also: ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT ASIA CUP 2022
What the numbers say!
2013-19 can be considered as the golden period in Kohli’s career. Clearly, the modern-day master was ahead of his contemporaries by far in terms of runs amassed. But since 2020, his statistics took a bitter turn where his average dropped to 35 which is fairly low compared to his overall career average i.e. 53.55. Across all formats since 2020, Kohli has played in 47 international games, adding 1825 runs to his tally but none of them could contribute to his 71st century. The former skipper is only behind Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar and Aussie legend Ricky Ponting in the list of most international tons.
|2020- at present||47||57||1825||4||89||34.43||62.95||0||18||7|
|2008- at present||463||517||23726||74||254*||53.35||78.56||70||122||32|
The drought in the number of hundreds clearly indicates that he has lost the sheen of converting starts into a big inning. Even in IPL, the ex-RCB skipper has had two unforgettable seasons with the bat. In 2022, he even fell short of the 400-run mark in total and his strike rate too was not up to the mark. In Tests, his form has been just a pale shadow of himself, and his average has dropped below 30.
Asia Cup 2022: A potential turning point?
Without a doubt, Asia Cup will be the best platform for the seasoned campaigner to roar back, especially in the limited-overs games. With the WT20 coming up, the Men in Blue will definitely require Kohli in form to build a solid batting unit. Kohli’s numbers in Australia and his prowess against pace and bounce will be a huge plus for Rohit and co. As of now, all eyes will be on King Kohli when he is back in blue for the Asia Cup. The hope that the break will bring around the much-needed turnaround in his career is all that fans are praying for.
The Asia Cup begins on 27 August. Team India will be up against arch-rivals Pakistan in their first fixture. Both the teams will lock horns for the first ever time after Pakistan’s iconic victory over India in the ICC WT20 2021.
Team India’s Asia Cup squad: Rohit Sharma (Captain), KL Rahul (vice-captain), Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Deepak Hooda, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Dinesh Karthik (wicket-keeper), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, R. Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, Ravi Bishnoi, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Arshdeep Singh, Avesh Khan
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