Virat Kohli made 62 in the 2nd ODI against West Indies © Getty Images
Virat Kohli made 62 in the 2nd ODI against West Indies © Getty Images (File Photo)

Much was said and written about Virat Kohli’s form — or lack thereof — after his failure in the first One-Day International (ODI) between India and West Indies. However, his crucial half-century in the second ODI came as a huge relief to him and his fans. But was Kohli really out of form? Shiamak Unwalla takes a look at his numbers and says otherwise.

Whether a batsman is in good or bad form is usually a matter of personal perspective. To say that a batsman who averages 46 in 2014 is in bad form might be a bit of a stretch. However, given that the batsman in question has a career average of nearly 51, it could be postulated that he is in less good form than he was a year ago. The batsman in this case is, of course, Virat Kohli.

Kohli has been one of the leading batsmen in ODI cricket for quite some time now. Since the ICC World Cup 2011, Asian batsmen have dominated the ODI run-charts, with Kohli being at the very top of the list:

Name

Team

M

Runs

HS

Ave

SR

100s

50s

Virat Kohli

IND

87

3833

183

54.75

93.51

14

18

Kumar Sangakkara

SL

90

3728

169

46.6

82.45

8

24

Tillakaratne Dilshan

SL

86

3049

160*

40.65

82.33

7

16

Mohammad Hafeez

PAK

77

2713

140*

38.21

77.98

8

13

Misbah-ul-Haq

PAK

80

2604

96*

44.89

70.34

0

23

Mahela Jayawardene

SL

83

2517

144

34.47

81.08

3

18

AB de Villiers

SA

49

2257

136*

62.69

103.81

7

12

Rohit Sharma

IND

63

2231

209

43.74

79.73

2

18

MS Dhoni

IND

64

2228

139*

74.26

95.25

2

19

Alastair Cook

ENG

60

2227

137

39.76

80.25

4

14

 

Apart from having scored the most runs, Kohli has also hit the most hundreds by a long way, while his strike rate of 93.51 is behind only AB de Villiers (103.81) and MS Dhoni (95.25), while his average is third behind those same two men.

If one reduces the span to just the last year, the list undergoes a few changes, but Kohli remains at the top. Given below is the list of top 10 run-scorers in ODIs between October 1, 2013 and October 12, 2014:

Name

Team

M

Runs

HS

Ave

SR

100s

50s

Virat Kohli

IND

27

1177

136

56.04

102.43

4

7

Quinton de Kock

SA

20

1058

135

52.9

92.4

5

3

Kumar Sangakkara

SL

26

1046

128

41.84

89.78

3

7

Ahmed Shehzad

PAK

23

1015

124

44.13

76.89

3

6

Angelo Mathews

SL

28

965

93

53.61

88.36

0

7

AB de Villiers

SA

20

963

136*

60.18

110.43

4

4

Shikhar Dhawan

IND

26

952

119

41.39

88.8

2

6

Hashim Amla

SA

19

946

122*

52.55

82.47

4

4

Rohit Sharma

IND

22

921

209

51.16

86.64

2

5

Tillakaratne Dilshan

SL

21

829

88

43.63

81.67

0

8

 

In fact, here Kohli’s average and strike rate increase significantly — courtesy of an unbelievable series against Australia at home — although he is again outshone by de Villiers (who has scored 200 runs less) in both average and strike rate.

Why, then, has Kohli been accused of being in poor form? He has scored runs in every series he has played in since the start of the year, with the exception of the series in England. Given below is a list of Kohi’s scores in every game he has played in so far this year:

Runs

Against

SR

Date

Ground

123

NZ

110.81

January 19, 2014

Napier

78

NZ

120

January 22, 2014

Hamilton

6

NZ

30

January 25, 2014

Auckland

2

NZ

20

January 28, 2014

Hamilton

82

NZ

105.12

January 31, 2014

Wellington

136

Ban

111.47

February 26, 2014

Fatullah

48

SL

94.11

February 28, 2014

Fatullah

5

Pak

45.45

March 02, 2014

Dhaka

DNB

Afg

March 05, 2014

Dhaka

0

Eng

0

August 27, 2014

Cardiff

40

Eng

80

August 30, 2014

Trent Bridge

1*

Eng

33.33

September 02, 2014

Edgbaston

13

Eng

61.9

September 05, 2014

Headingley

2

WI

40

October 08, 2014

Kochi

62

WI

79.48

October 11, 2014

Delhi

 

As seen above, he had started the year with an excellent ton against New Zealand and had followed it up with a couple of half-centuries. In the Asia Cup that followed, he hit a ton against Bangladesh. It was only in the England series that he struggled for runs.

Kohli has been in superb form in ODIs by any parameter. He suffered one inevitable lean patch in England, but has been nigh flawless in every other series he has played since 2011. The only other exception was the three-match ODI series in South Africa late in 2013, but he batted only twice in that series, which was sandwiched between two productive stints against West Indies at home and New Zealand Down Under.

To say that Kohli has been in poor form in ODIs is entirely incorrect. He may have been exposed in the Test series in England, but ODIs are an entirely different ball-game. Kohli continues to stay near the top — if not at the very top — of the batting charts in ODIs. To think otherwise is to fall prey to the easy trap of listening to undue criticism.

Complete coverage of India vs West Indies 2014

(Shiamak Unwalla, a reporter with CricketCountry, is a self-confessed Sci-Fi geek and Cricket fanatic. You can follow him on Twitter @ShiamakUnwalla)