The way Virat Kohli led the Indian team and guided them to victory at Lord’s might have earned him plaudits from all quarters but it didn’t help his cause in the ICC Test rankings for batsmen, where he is currently at the fifth spot. Not long ago, Kohli was at the second spot but his lean patch has extended far longer than many of us expected it to last and he has now slipped down to the fifth position.
Like you and me, Kohli’s childhood coach Rajkumar Sharma was equally shocked when he came to know about his student’s drop in rankings, which is led by New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson and followed by England captain Joe Root and Australian duo of Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne respectively.
“It is shocking news for me that Virat Kohli has fallen to the fifth spot. I was expecting that Joe Root would have probably gone ahead of him. I will definitely talk to him,” Sharma said on India News Sports.
Despite his bat being quiet for some time, Kohli has always insisted that he has never played for personal accolades. The most important thing for him continues to be the team’s success, whether he scores a century or not.
The way India defeated England at Lord’s would have helped Kohli’s confidence a great deal and given the whole team a belief that they could win the series. Sharma feels his student doesn’t need any extra motivation and it’s only a matter of time that he scores a big hundred.
“I don’t feel there is any need to motivate him because he is extremely motivated. When I had spoken to him after the last match as well, he was quite excited and was happy that they had won and was not too worried about his runs. When he has such an attitude, a big hundred is about to come,” he added.
While Kohli has struggled to score even a half-century, his counterpart Joe Root has dominated the series thus far, scoring two centuries in the first two games. Sharma, who knows Kohli inside out, feels he would take it as a challenge and would do everything possible to settle the scores in the remaining matches.
“I would say it is a challenge for Virat to chase Joe Root. I have full hope because I have known Virat from his childhood, he loves challenges. So, it is a good challenge and we will see a good contest in the upcoming matches,” he added.
Despite Root piling on runs, England have paid the price for their over-reliance on their skipper whereas the visitors have proved to be the better side because a number of players have performed at different stages and bailed the team out of trouble.
So, in a way, the Indian team would not be too concerned about Kohli’s individual performance. But, as fans, we would definitely love to see our talisman get among the runs and dominate English bowlers like the way he did in 2018.