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Is the King slowly losing his throne and the kingdom?

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Considered one of the best contemporary batsman in the world, Virat Kohli is called a king for a reason. With second highest number of centuries in the world, holds the world record for being the fastest batsman to 8000, 9000, 10,000, 11,000 and 12,000 ODI runs. Smart, sharp, athletic, aggressive, his teammates have often given him these names, and praised him for his natural ability to hit the ball. Confidence is his second name and the king has never shied away when it came to taking the opposition head on. England, Australia, South Africa Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh are always wary of him and have not been able to ooh outplay or outsmart this man. His on-field aggression and antics have kept his fellow team members on their toes and has given the opposition a run for its money.

In 2012, he was named the vice captain of the ODI team. After MSD hung his boots in Tests in 2014, Virat Kohli was handed over the test captaincy. After Dhoni stepped down as ODI captain in 2017, Kohli became the natural successor. And then there was no looking back. Kohli smashed records left, right and centre as the captain of Team India. The swashbuckling king’s aggression always reflected in his game. Leading from the front, the captain ensured, that his men came out victorious in all conditions.

As a captain Virat Kohli has beaten Mahendra Singh Dhoni, when it comes to success stories. 23 Test victories out of 30 at home. Not just that, he has most Test wins as an Indian captain away from home. He has won 14 out of 32 Tests away from home. He surpassed West Indian legend Clive Lloyd, who won 36 Tests as a captain. 2018 Kohli became the first Indian captain, to win a Test series in Australia. Not only that, he became the first Indian captain, since Kapil Dev(1986) to enforce the follow-on in Australia.

Kohli has the most number of Test runs ( 5,511 runs at an average of 56.81) by an Indian captain and this includes, 20 centuries and 15 half centuries. He added another feather to his cap when he became the only captain to score 7 double tons in Tests.

As an ODI captain, Virat has scored 5,320 runs. this tally includes 21 tons under his belt. holds the record for scoring the quickest 1000 T20I runs as a captain. He is the only Indian skipper to win T20I bilateral series in all SENA Nations India won 5-0 in New Zealand in 2020, 2-1 in England in 2018 and 2-1 in South Africa also in 2018.

But behind this charismatic king, now lies a player who is performing miserably. Signs of his failures are slowly coming out. Behind the towering stats and the world’s best batsman, is a captain who has failed to lead from the front on more than one occasion. he is losing the charm as a batsman, a captain and a man who has often inspired the team to snatch victory from the claws of the opponent. The on-field aggression that we often to witnessed, always resulted in pride and confidence, that resonated in the air after clobbering the opposition. Victory was inevitable.

The opposition could never take the king lightly. His wicked would be celebrated as an achievement by the bowler, but the fire in his eyes send the chills down the spine of the opponent. But in the recent past, over-confidence, complacency, pride, failed decisions and frustration is all we have witnessed. Sheer luck has seen the team through on many occasions. but the King seems to have failed his team, himself and his fans. Where is the Team India where both batsmen and bowlers excelled? Carelessness and callous attitude is at display all the time. And the one man who could have helped the sinking ship is sinking himself. Is the king losing his throne and his Kingdom?

His major failures have been the ones which could have been turned into victory. His failure to convert these are an indication that he has been a failed captain too. Let’s rewind a bit. 2019 World Cup semi final: Virat Kohli could only manage single in is second successive World Cup. In the 5th India versus Australia ODI in 2019, Kohli who is an ace when it comes to chasing, struggles with only 20 runs. Team India ended up losing this match. The India versus New Zealand 2nd test in 2020, Virat ended up scoring 2 and 19 runs and the team flunked miserably without being able to score even 200 runs in 2 innings. When a team faces failure, they often look up to their leading man, but what if he is failing too?

So what exactly is wrong with Virat Kohli? His blunders are beginning to cost him much. During India’s tour of England in 2018, on a green pitch, Kohli decided to take a chance with Kuldeep and Ashwin. Kuldeep could not make a mark and Kohli’s decision fell flat as India lost the match by an innings and 159 runs. He surprised everyone by choosing Rishabh pant as keeper for New Zealand Tests over Wriddhiman Saha. Despite Saha playing exceedingly well in five matches before that, Kohli still went with Pant. Pant couldn’t showcase his batting prowess and his keeping skills were under the scanner as India lost both the Tests. Ihe Indian skipper still struggles with his number 4 player in the team. He tried with the likes of Raydu, Pant Vijay Shankar, KL Rahul, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya Pujara, instability has cost India many deciders in crucial matches.

Despite an emphatic win against England at Lord’s in August 2021( though the victory was to the credit of Shami and bumrah), the cracks in the batting lineup were clearly visible. India was down to 209/8 the second innings, before Shami and Bumrah rescued them. most importantly, Kohli was a failure with the bat yet again and his contribution as the Indian skipper was next to nothing. After the first two Tests against England, Kohli only had 65 runs in his Kitty in four innings at an average of 16.25. With team India’s dismal performance against England in Leeds and Kohli failing with the bat again, doubts over his captaincy have slowly started trickling in.

Pujara and Rahane were again the usual failures in the list. Even Pujara’s knock, should not be considered a savior for him as inconsistency is his second name. Rahane should be the second worry for India as the man has been out of form for forever. Pant continued his poor stint with the bat and is slowly becoming a pain with his callous attitude on the field. To top it all Kohli optiing for batting un these conditions and and almost failing middle order is being heavily criticised. With Ashwin missing from the scene Ishant Sharma performing abysmally, the bowling fell apart too. Despite always being stubborn about his team selection, Kohli has an answer or two to give this time. It was all over rhe place this time. He still stubborn about not playing six specialist batsmen. His post-match arrogance was visible when he blamed the his bowlers for letting England score 432 runs.

As for the batsman he said “78 all out can happen in this country”. But what he doesn’t realise is that it gets tougher from here as India hit Oval for their 4th Test match against the mighty England. India has only won 1 Test back in 1971 in Oval. In 2018, they lost by 118 runs on the same venue.

With troubles brewing for King Kohli, he has some tough questions to answer. What is wrong with his form? It’s been two years since his last century. He has scored only 345 runs in the last 15 innings average of 23. not only this his ranking in ICC Rests drooped to no. 5. What happens to captain Kohli? Forget leading from the front, his wrong choices on the field have resulted in India losing more than one matches. Coming back to where we started from: if the king wants to save his throne and Kingdom, he has to up his game. all the king’s men and his Army cannot put back the kingdom with this level of game. Team India needs to get its act together. It’s time for the King Kohli to rise from the ashes again.

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