Since winning the T20 series 5-0, nothing has gone right for the Indian team on their tour of New Zealand. The visitors were thrashed 3-0 in the ODI series, and were pummeled by 10 wickets in the first Test as well. They have their backs to the wall as they head into the final Test of the series.
The biggest factor that has led to the downfall of the Indian team has been the form of their premier player and skipper Virat Kohli. The champion batsman had a torrid time in the ODI series and also in the first Test against the Kiwis, and that has directly affected the performance of the Indian side.
Here is a split of Kohli’s record in ODI matches won and lost by India.
As we can see, Kohli’s performances have a direct impact on the matches won by India in ODI cricket. He averages a gargantuan 77.37 in the matches won, as against his career average of 59.33. 35 of his 43 ODI hundreds have come in a winning cause.
In the matches that India have lost in ODIs, Kohli averages just 35.54. He has scored just 7 hundreds in them, and has scored 2986 runs in total.
Needless to say, India’s batting talisman has played a major role in India’s victories in ODI cricket in the last decade. In the recently concluded ODI series against the Kiwis, Kohli aggregated just 75 runs in three matches at a poor average of 25.
He was dismissed for a score of less than 20 in two out of the three ODIs. And as we all know, India were thrashed 3-0 in the series.
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Now, let us come to Test cricket. Here is a split of Kohli’s record in Test matches won and lost by India.
In Tests won by India, Kohli averages a colossal 60.50. He has scored 13 out of his 27 hundreds in the Tests won by his country.
Now in the Tests that India have lost, Kohli averages a lowly 37.39 - more than 16 points below his career average. His impact in whites on the results of the team has been profound.
In the first Test against the Kiwis, Kohli could manage to score just 2 and 19 in the two innings. Right on cue, India were destroyed by 10 wickets in the match.
With Kohli failing to stay at the crease, the rest of the batsmen have had no fulcrum to play around. Cheteshwar Pujara in particular has looked bereft of confidence, and although Ajinkya Rahane tried to hold one end up in each innings, ultimately he was left with too much to do.
It has become clear over the past decade that Kohli’s form has a huge bearing on India's results. With him at the crease, the batting lineup looks formidable; with him back in the pavilion, the rest of the batsmen look clueless.
So it has proved on this tour of New Zealand, as India have failed to get much joy out of a series where much was expected of them. The skipper will really need to pull up his socks and deliver in the final Test if India have any hopes of leveling the two match Test series.