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Bangalore vs Mumbai: A statistical look at Virat Kohli's struggle

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Dubai International Stadium bore witness to an absolute scorcher of a game as it took a Super Over to decide a winner between Bangalore and defending champions Mumbai. The one-over eliminator went all the way to the final ball as Bangalore chased down eight runs after much drama.

Earlier in the game, a late blitz by AB de Villiers and Shivam Dubey took RCB to 201 runs, and while the target, at one point of time, looked unreachable for Mumbai, Kieron Pollard and Ishan Kishan combined for a team-record fifth-wicket partnership of 119 runs to do the unthinkable.

Bangalore showed immense promise, especially with the bat, but their captain, Virat Kohli, once again failed to do the talking. It was for the second match running that the 31-year-old failed to reach the double figures. The Bangalore skipper has been, in fact, truly disappointing so far in the Indian T20 League, scoring a mere 18 runs in three innings in 29 balls at a poor average of 6.00.

As it has been apparent so far, the 31-year-old has made some outstanding tactical decisions but is yet to play a captain's innings with the bat. A lacklustre form coupled with several poor judgments and an evident lack of confidence means Kohli is yet to hit the ball across the boundary rope.

But well, if we look at his return on the UAE soil (in the Indian T20 League), this has been his pattern since the last time Indian T20 League was played in the sovereign state of Western Asia. His figures read a measly total of 123 runs in eight innings, striking at a rate of 103.36. Out of these eight innings, Kohli has been dismissed in single-digit on four different occasions. He, in fact, is yet to score an Indian T20 League half-century in UAE, with his highest being an unbeaten 49 against Delhi in 2014.

Matches Runs Balls
vs Delhi, April 2014 49* 38
vs Mumbai, April 2014 0 2
vs Kolkata, April 2014 31 23
vs Rajasthan, April 2014 21 25
vs Punjab, April 2014 4 2
vs Hyderabad, September 2020 14 13
vs Punjab, September 2020 1 5
vs Mumbai, September 2020 3 11
Overall 123 119

Table: Virat Kohli in Indian T20 League in UAE

A deeper look into his statistics explains that this has been his joint-lowest return from the first three games of the Indian T20 League. As one can guess, his highest came in the 2016 edition where he smashed 187 in the opening three games at an average of 62.33. The opening three editions were particularly sub-par for the Indian captain, but those returns can be acknowledged on the fact that he was just a rookie.

Last year though, he accumulated just 55 runs at an average of 18.33, and the 2020 edition has been a new low for him. Lack of match-fitness due to the global pandemic can be termed as one of the reasons, but there are no excuses whatsoever when you are playing at such high level. Kohli, in fact, hasn't crossed 25 runs in his last eight Indian T20 League innings, scoring 9, 13, 23, 25, 16, 14, 1, 3.

Year Inns NO Runs BF 4s 6s Ave SR
2008-Y 3 0 37 33 3 2 12.33 112.12
2009-Y 3 0 64 53 7 1 21.33 120.75
2010-Y 2 1 18 17 1 1 18 105.88
2011-Y 3 0 106 88 11 3 35.33 120.45
2012-Y 3 0 71 68 7 2 23.67 104.41
2013-Y 3 1 163 105 20 6 81.5 155.24
2014-Y 3 1 80 63 6 3 40 126.98
2015-Y 3 0 72 70 5 4 24 102.86
2016-Y 3 0 187 129 17 6 62.33 144.96
2017-Y 3 0 154 116 15 4 51.33 132.76
2018-Y 3 0 109 79 12 3 36.33 137.97
2019-Y 3 0 55 54 6 0 18.33 101.85
2020-Y 3 0 18 29 0 0 6 62.07

Table: Kohli in first three innings in Indian T20 League

Furthermore, it was the sixth time since 2017 that the Bangalore skipper was dismissed by a leg spinner, which accounts to 15.79% (second-highest) of his dismissals by the type of bowlers. A further bifurcation sees he has been dismissed eight times by left-arm pacers, and two of them have already come in this year's edition (Thangarasu Natarajan against Hyderabad and Sheldon Cottrell against Punjab).

Bowler type Runs Scored Balls Wicket % of wickets
Left-arm pacer 186 137 8 21.05
Leg spin 197 150 6 15.79
Off break 131 115 4 10.53
Right-arm pacer 639 456 16 42.11
Slow left-arm chinaman 58 46 1 2.63
Slow left-arm orthodox 109 86 3 7.89

Table: Virat vs bowler type in Indian T20 League since 2017

It's about time that Kohli finds his footing in the UAE conditions, but if history is anything to go by, the skipper is going to have a hard time, as he endured in 2014 where he notched a mere 80 runs in the opening three games and went on to score 359 runs in 14 innings at a measly average of 27.61.

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