Virat Kohli is never out of form, be it in any format of the game. Not only is he a consistent run-getter, he is also a past master at converting his minor successes into major ones, It is this trick, this sense of responsibility, of not throwing his wicket away once he is set, that makes him the most dangerous batsman in the world, perhaps even the best ODI batsman in the history of the game. His ODI batting records, especially the high percentage of conversion of his 50s into 100s, and average number of matches played for every 100, outshine even those of the great Tendulkar, Ponting or Lara.
Thanks to his productivity and high conversion rate, Virat stands heads and shoulders above his contemporaries. Take a look at their batting records –
It is clear from the records that there is no Big Four or Five or Six when it comes to ODIs. There is only a Big Boss. But in the past few matches, especially since the beginning of the World Cup 2019,Virat has been getting out before converting his 50s into 100s a tad too often That might be a cause for concern.
This is how Virat Kohli has fared over his career-
The career conversion rate which now stands at 0.42(that he is converts 42 percent of his 50 plus scores into 100s) was 0.45 (after 225 matches). Is this a natural trough to balance out the crest that was achieved between 201st-225th matches? In fact between his 189th and 225th matches, Kohli had slammed 14 100s and6 fifties in 37 matches- that was 70 percent conversion, and a score of 50 plus in 54 percent outings!
Lately, the consistency with which King Kohli is getting out despite looking good for bigger ones is worrying. He did not score a single hundred in the World Cup 2019, rather went past 50 on five consecutive occasions- 82 Vs Australia, 77 Vs Pakistan, 67 Vs Afghanistan,72 Vs West Indies and 66 vs England. In each of these matches, he got out against the run of play when he looked well-settled for quite a bit more, and his dismissal cost India dearly, especially against Afghanistan and England. In the meantime, Rohit Sharma smashed 5 hundreds in the World Cup and three after that.
Virat did score two back-to-back hundreds against the West Indies at Queen’s Park Oval (Port of Spain), but missed out on another against them at Cuttack (85).In 2020, he looked all set for hundreds against Australia at Rajkot (78) and Bangalore (89), but lost his concentration and got out.
Batting against the Kiwis at Hamilton, Virat looked in fine nick but got out at 51, even as India recovered from 3-156 to post 347 on board. India lost that match by 4 wickets with 11 balls remaining, which also begged a question if a daddy hundred by Virat would have altered the result. In his back-to-back fifties against Australia (87 and 63), the skipper looked rusty, yet good enough for 100s. But he got out against Hazlewood for 3rd and 4th time in succession, and failed to convert his fifty plus scores into 100s.Is this becoming a habit? Is he distracted, tired or just slowing down?
For any other batsman, this would not even be a talking point. He has after all garnered 13 50-plus scores in the last 26 matches! But the fact that only two of them have been converted into 100s is reason enough for concern, at least among his diehard fans, for whom Kohli is India, and India Kohli. This is after all the first year after 2008 that he has finished without scoring a ODI century.
Is King Kohli himself worried, though?
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