When Virat Kohli peeled off his 70th international ton during a day-night Test against Bangladesh at the Eden Gardens in 2019, it was the continuation of his unreal speed and consistency with which the India batter was recording centuries across Tests and ODIs. And predictions were being made that Tendulkar’s record of 100 international tons is facing a real threat.
Fast forward to June 2019 and Kohli finds himself still in the headlines, a red-hot topic of debate. Only this time around the talk is focused on his prolonged form slump that has seen him stuck on 70 centuries for nearly three years now.
First it was the absence of a three-figure score which has now devolved into a series of low scores. Some are even questioning his place in the India eleven now.
Former players have given their own assessment on how Kohli can get back his old form. Few have suggested change in technique others say it’s just a matter of mental adjustment.
One of the suggestions is that Kohli should play more on the backfoot so as to avoid edging deliveries. However, former India cricketer Ravindra Jadeja doesn’t buy into that argument.
He says that most of Kohli’s runs have come from the same technique (front foot play) and even when at his peak, he’s someone who rarely plays the cut shot.
“Virat Kohli is a great player. Most of his runs came (from that old technique). Even in his best form, he’s not the one who has ever cut the ball even when was scoring hundreds. If you look at him now and say, ‘has he changed anything?’, I don’t think he has. It’s just that the scores aren’t coming. I would probably worry that he’s getting 20s and 30s, if he had gotten out in the first 10-12 balls, it’s fine because any batsman can get out then,” Jadeja said on Sony Sports.
“I know people believe that he should play on the backfoot. Obviously, sitting here on the television, everything looks easy. You get 2 yards extra, and you can see a different line. But he has always been like that. If he had changed anything, you could say, ‘maybe the backfoot play is not happening’. Show me any of his century where he plays the cut shot, and show me a shot when he has gone back and played to mid-on or mid-wicket,” he added.
Jadeja thinks the only tweak Kohli should make is his mental approach. “For me, it’s the same Virat Kohli physically. I think it’s the mental aspect,” he said.