How Virat Kohli cuts out the noise
Virat Kohli says that he has a dependable and secure way to silence his growing number of critics — he just mutes the television. The former India skipper has endured an extended batting slump for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL and fell for his third golden duck of the season on Sunday.
Several former captains, including former Team India head coach Ravi Shastri, has said that the prolific batsman looks “overcooked” and needs a break, but in a light-hearted video on RCB’s website Kohli said that he has learnt to drown out those who criticise him.
“They can’t be in my shoes, they can’t feel what I feel, they can’t live my life, they can’t live those moments,” Kohli said of analysts attempting to write him off.
“How do you cut out the noise? You either mute the TV or don’t listen to or pay attention to what people are saying. I do both of these things.”
After his latest golden duck, when he flicked the opening delivery of the match to Sunrisers Hyderabad skipper Kane Williamson, Kohli walked off with a wry smile.
“It hasn’t happened to me ever in my career, I think. I have seen everything now. It’s been so long, I have seen everything in this game,” Kohli said with a grin.
The 33-year-old Kohli has now failed to score a century in more than 100 matches in all formats. He has managed just 216 runs from 12 games in the IPL this season, scoring one half-century.
The reason for this slump has been varied. Kevin Pietersen wants him to “chill”. Dilip Vengsarkar, the man who picked him for India, straight out of the Under-19s, is sure it’s the tiredness that is getting to him. The harder he’s trying, the tougher it’s getting.
The question doing the rounds is where is Kohli of the 2016? How could the runs suddenly dry up for such a great batter. Only six seasons ago, he made four centuries and a mind-boggling 973 runs. That aggression has gone missing and the struggle to time the ball to perfection is all evident. There’s already talk that he should stop playing T20 cricket and focus solely on the longer version.
RCB’s team management, however, believes Kohli is as free in the mind as he has ever been without the captaincy. Head coach Sanjay Bangar is confident the drought will end soon. Kohli believes, everyone believes.