Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Here goes a popular adage in sports- ‘Form is temporary, but class is permanent. As per several cricket experts, form can be fickle as well. 

Of all, great sportspersons know how to deal with form. Hence, their performances don’t go down to a certain level. Only the mediocre sportspersons are always at their best. The great players have ups and downs. But they know how to make the ups last and disguise the downs.

Even, India’s all time greatest batsmen like Sunil Gavaskar and Sachin Tendulkar suffered a slum in their form. During the difficult phase of their careers, even their ardent fans cried for their heads. However, both of them tackled this crucial phases well to overcome their lack of forms and along with it their inevitable drop in confidence.

One of another such greatest batsmen of India in the making, Virat Kohli is currently going through a similar kind of difficult phase of his career which seems to have wrecked his self confidence.

Doubts have crept in his mind and in his anxiety of scoring runs, he is trying to overdo things. In the process, he is trying to chase every ball. His grip on the bat handle is getting tighter. He is also struggling to move his feet with ease. His natural way of playing cricket seems to have gone missing. 

Things have become like a vicious circle for him. Fans and critics are often fickle and their analysis to every minute thing often makes things more difficult. As per experts, one should not think much to get rid of the difficult phase in life.

“Cricket is a thinking man’s game. However, in case of loss of form, one shouldn’t think much. Rather one should go with the flow. One innings and even one stroke could create a mood in which things could overturn everything to find one’s rhythm and form once again,” said an expert.

“In Virat’s case, 23,726 runs from 463 international matches and 70 centuries are testimony to his class. He is just an innings away from getting back his magic touch. One good innings is good enough to retrieve his greatness back,” he said.

Virat’s lean patch has lasted around two-and-a-half years. However, during his bad patch, he has scored over 2,500 runs in 79 innings across all the three formats with an average of 35.5, which is just under Chris Gayle’s career average and higher than that of Sanath Jayasuriya, Yuvraj Singh and Jos Buttler.

However, fans are still asking for more from Virat which could be attributed to his greatest batsmanship. This is also a tyranny of expectation which could take its toll on any human being. Superstars like Virat are human beings too.

“Virat seems to have been caught between conscious batsmanship and spontaneity which is getting worse with every bit of failure. His strong self-belief and determination is working against him,” said an expert.

“He shouldn’t over think and accept the situation as it is. He has nothing to prove about his batting prowess. He needs to let it go. It is difficult for a performer, but fans, critics and BCCI should stand for their warrior strongly during this difficult phase,” he added.