Team India returned to Mumbai on Saturday after they were unceremoniously shown the doors in ICC World Cup by Australia in the semi-finals at Sydney Cricket Ground on Mar 26. While coming out of the airport the Indian's vice captain Virat Kohli was accompanied by his girlfriend Anushka Sharma, who had to face fans' ire for the Indian batsman's poor show in the match.
Flop in knock out games
Virat Kohli was a big disappointment in this tournament for he failed to perform in the crucial quarter final and semi-final matches against Bangladesh and Australia, respectively.
The batter scored 3 against Bangladesh while managed to score just a single in the game against Aussies. Chasing a stiff target of 329 set by Aussies, team India received a massive setback when Kohli got out to Mitchell Johnson of a short delivery. Everyone including his girlfriend Anushka Sharma was shocked to see Kohli's bad performance.
Kohli's early dismissal resulted in Indian team's collapse in the most important match of the tournament. This left millions of Team India fans dejected who were hoping that the defending champions are going to retain their title. Unfortunately a section of disheartened fans took to social media and blamed the Bollywood actress for their favourite star's continued poor form.
Kohli had scored just 1 run when he was sent back to the pavilion, India couldn't recover from this loss and eventually lost the match too. This wasn't the first time in the World Cup when Virat, undoubtedly the biggest star in India, disappointed with his performance.
The flamboyant Right handed batter from Delhi, wasn't in the best of his form all through the tournament. Barring a match winning knock of 107 in the opening contest against Pakistan, he failed to score even a half century in next seven games he played. Kohli's second best score in the tournament was 46 against South Africa.
Have a look at Kohli's performance in all eight matches he played in WC:
Game 1: Vs Pakistan: 107 (126 balls) Man of the match
Game 2: Vs South Africa: 46 (60 balls)
Game 3: Vs UAE: 33 (41 balls)
Game 4: Vs West Indies: 33 (36 balls)
Game 5: Vs Ireland: 44 (42 balls)
Game 6: Vs Zimbabwe: 38 (48 balls)
Game 7: Vs Bangladesh: 3 (8 balls)
Game 8: Vs Australia: 1 (13 balls)
These figures clearly hint that the World Cup 2015 wasn't best of Virat's tournaments, for the talented middle order batsman is far more capable.
Comparison between Kohli and Dhawan's performance in WC
One can't question Virat's capability but this was also a bitter reality that the Delhi lad failed to live up to his reputation. Virat, the most consistent performer in ODI cricket, failed to even make it to the top 10 big scorers of the tournament. He scored barely 305 runs with an average of 50.
What's more surprising that Indian opener Shikhar Dhawan, who before the start of World Cup was criticised due to his poor form, emerged as the top scorer from the side in the tournament.
With an average of 51.50 Shikhar scored 412 runs in the 8 games he played. Shikhar ranks 5th while Kohli, who ranks 4th in ICC ranking, is placed at 19th position in the tournament.
Even Rohit Sharma fared Kohli when it came to scoring runs in the tournament. Rohit scored 330 runs in the 8 games at an average of 47.
Did over confidence, excessive aggression hurt Virat's form?
With the start of team's tour of Australia, Kohli looked in sublime form. The middle order batsman scored 4 centuries and scored 692 runs in the Border Gavaskar Test series. Kohli averaged almost 87 in white fatigues against Australian pace attack on their soil.
Kohli's excellent form increased hopes of millions of Indian cricket supporters that he'll be most of the destructive batsmen in the World Cup, but sadly that didn't happen. As the day progressed in Australian subcontinent, Kohli's batting deteriorated.
This eventually became a concern for the Indian side, who's strength is its batting. Even stats show that India win more than 80 per cent of the matches in which Kohli does well.
Therefore a pertinent question arises what actually went wrong with Kohli during World Cup. It seems the aggressive Indian batter became over confident which diverted his focus from the game.
Spat with Indian scribe
The incidence of Kohli abusing an Indian scribe during a practice session also hint that the off field distractions took a toll over performance of backbone of Indian middle order. Kohli had to face massive criticism and even BCCI had to warn him for his behaviour. This incident too would have affected the player's mindset.
Also, just a day before crucial India-Australia semi-final match at Sydney, an over-confident Indian Test skipper -- in an interview to an Australian news channel -- told its time Team Australia is taught a lesson. But, when it really came to giving Australians a befitting reply and avenge the humiliation during Test and ODI tri-series, Virat once again lost his focus and threw his wicket away.
It is time Virat learns from his ODI skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and even his Australian counterpart Steve Smith, that a big players must channelise their aggression into performance 'on field' and not get distracted into 'off-field' controversies.