When Virat Kohli looks back at IPL 2019, chances are that once the initial burst of exasperation subsides, he will look back at these months with haunting wistfulness. Another IPL gone, another opportunity missed. For a batsman of his class, the inexplicable six-match losing streak will be a thorn in his side for sometime, more so when he has not really set the stage on fire with his batting.
With 278 runs from 8 matches, he is 10th on the run-scorers' list before Friday's clash against Kolkata Knight Riders at the Eden Gardens with lowest average, strike rate and sixes among the ten leading scorers. What should worry Kohli more is the fact that he has not been woefully out of form either; he just, rather uncharacteristically, keeps getting out after getting a start. Considering how badly RCB rely on him to lead them to an above-par total, Kohli's patchy form has hit the team harder than it should.
Then, there's a small matter of his captaincy. Kohli, in RCB colours, is a pale shadow of his proactive, risk-taking India skipper self (and MS Dhoni's presence in the India think-tank has a lot to do with that). Halfway into the tournament, RCB are yet to find a settled XI, even as Kohli continues to commit tactical errors. Moeen Ali was famously not given a bowl on a turning track against KKR, Kohli himself failed to read the Bangalore track and decided to play anchor against Delhi Capitals, and all this while, they have failed to find a bowling combination that can, at the very least, contain batsmen on batting-friendly Chinnasamy tracks.
The action now shifts to Kolkata, where bottom-placed RCB play hosts KKR. Their playoff chances now over, RCB will have only pride to play for, and considering Kohli's character, that's still a lot to fight for. Kohli would also like to get a few good knocks under his belt before the World Cup so that his, and India's, confidence is high going into the big event.
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