Virat Kohli’s poor form continues with his second consecutive first-ball overthrow
Virat Kohli was out on the first ball for the second consecutive match in the Indian Premier League on Saturday, as his club Royal Challengers Bangalore were humiliated by Sunrisers Hyderabad. He has yet to score a half-century in this season’s 10-team Twenty20 event, with an aggregate of 119 runs after eight games. The 33-year-old, who has over 23,500 international runs for India, was out on the first ball against the Lucknow Super Giants, and on Saturday at the Brabourne Stadium, he edged a quick ball from South African fast bowler Marco Jansen.
Bangalore were dismissed for 68 runs, with Jansen and Thangarasu Natarajan each taking three wickets. For the sixth time in a row, the Hyderabad hitters chased down the mark in just eight overs, losing only one wicket.
With 10 points, Kane Williamson’s Hyderabad has advanced to second place in the IPL rankings, while Bangalore has climbed to fourth place, the final playoff spot, with the same points. Virat Kohli, who stepped down as India and Bangalore captains in recent months, was heavily favored to win the run-scoring statistics now that he was free of the weight of leadership.
However, commentators including former India coach Ravi Shastri suggested that the right-handed batter was “overcooked” and needed a rest after a string of failures. Sanjay Bangar, the Bangalore coach, said Kohli was doing “all in his power” to pull out of the rut, while former India captain Mohammed Azharuddin joined the chorus of those pleading for the batter to be rested.
After Saturday’s match, Azharuddin said on Twitter: “Virat Kohli deserves a much-needed break from some matches. A little rest should rejuvenate him.”
Working as a commentator for IPL’s broadcaster, former England captain Kevin Pietersen said the game needed Kohli to score runs. He said in a tweet: “You want a fact? Every single great of our game has been through what Virat is going through. Want another fact? They all get through it and deliver on the big stage again.”