Indian cricket's pin-up boy Virat Kohli is steadily going from hero to zero in the Indian Premier League 2014. The Royal Challengers Bangalore captain has so far had a poor run with the bat and shares a dubious distinction with former Indian opener and Kolkata Knight Riders captain, Gautam Gambhir. Both have scored three ducks in the IPL 2014.
While Gambhir is slowly getting back to his form, Kohli has struggled to score. Luck has also not been on his side as he has seemingly been at the wrong end of umpiring blunders. He has scored 154 at an average of 17.11 in 10 innings, way below his lofty standards in limited overs cricket.
Is the pressure of captaincy telling on Kohli? Former Indian Test captain Sourav Ganguly thinks form and captaincy are inter-connected.
"Kohli is realising that the combination of captaincy and batsmanship is a bit different and he must quickly find a way to make that mental adjustment," Ganguly wrote in his newspaper column.
"It's not a tough thing to do and my advice to him would be to decide on a plan [for the team] at the start of the game, shut it out completely and direct all his mental energy and space towards scoring runs for himself, though he is bound to get affected at times for wrong decisions," said Ganguly.
Kohli has been upset with RCB's poor run. The team made a good start but soon lost its way. In spite of having the strongest batting line-up in IPL, RCB, unlike a Kings XI Punjab, have failed to produce the goods. The scrappy form of Kohli, Chris Gayle and Yuvraj Singh has a lot to do with this. RCB are currently sixth with three wins and five defeats.
The temperamental Kohli had admitted that RCB has not played a like a team. Has he been able to united a team of many a match-winner? Ganguly feels Kohli has a lot to learn.
"He will also realise, in due course, that a lot of captaincy and tactics happens out in the middle and it's also about being aware of situations. On the whole he has to find a way to relax and stay fresh because too much of worrying can drain you out mentally," wrote Ganguly, who has now turned his attention to a new franchise-based Indian football league.