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Will Kohli's own performance matter?



Virat_Kohli_India_cricketA question that has been rattling around my mind for some time now is this: will Kohli’s own performance matter if India keeps winning under his captaincy? Will his own batting performances be given priority over the team’s success? Will his score be more important or will his captaincy be more important? I am sure these questions must have crossed your minds as well.

First things first: Kohli is a class apart, a spectacular player, a magnificent athlete and above all - a determined cricketer. There are no doubts that he has been in impressive form from the very beginning of the year 2016. He carried the whole team single-handedly in almost every series that India played in 2016: Asia cup, World T20, Australia v India T20 Series. Even the IPL. You name it; he just carried them all the way by himself.

Kohli’s own performances haven’t been so bad that we start criticizing his place in the team. There’s just one thing that has been bothering me, and many other Kohli fans I am sure, is his average in Test cricket. We all believe that it will get to a good level in due time, but it should start increasing slowly and gradually at some point.  

We all believed that after the Double Hundred against West Indies in the Caribbean, the graph would start going upwards, but it was followed by a few mediocre performances. And the graph has been going downwards since, though hopefully not for long.

Now the real question is, “Does it matter?”


If India is winning, if India is climbing up the rankings, if they are having a good record under Kohli, then is it necessary for Kohli to score like a superman in every match?

To be honest, no. Kohli shouldn’t be expected to score in every match. It shouldn't be expected of him to win each and every match and then series for India. In the end, no one would look up for the stats of a batsman in a losing cause when looking up the stats of a captain in Test matches. The win/loss ratio would matter much more than the individual stats of a batsman.

A few examples of this can be seen in the Adelaide Test where Kohli scored twin centuries and yet ended up in a losing cause. Everyone remembers his sublime performance, but it still gets overshadowed by the fact that India lost that match. Not just that, somebody else ended up getting the player of the match award too. It is far more important to contribute to a team’s win rather than scoring tons of runs where it wouldn’t have much significance.

Another example could be the semi-final of World T20 2016 between India and West Indies. Kohli’s innings there would be rated one of his best ever played, according to me and many others, I believe, but in the end it was all in vain. Instead, if there was an increased contribution from each and every individual that led the team to victory, that would have held a lot more significance in both the semi final and the Test.

The point here is that if Kohli is captaining well, getting work from each and every individual of his team, making each and everyone contribute and helping everyone recognize their true potential (as in the case of Ashwin playing as an all-rounder now), that would be a lot more beneficial. Kohli is doing that. He is making everyone work. Every person is contributing, and as a whole, the team would probably, according to me, feel a lot better this way.


It is important for Kohli to score but he is doing a great job as a captain and that is the primary focus for now.

Concluding things: yes it is important for Kohli to score runs; yes it is important for him to lead from the front, by example, as a captain; and most important of all, yes it is important for him to have a great record and be remembered as the best player of his generation. But winning comes first. Team rankings come first. And the status of the team comes first for everyone.


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I am a cricket maniac. My favorite player is Virat Kohli. I play a bit too. I like to analyse and w...

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