Virat Kohli is having a rare difficult patch in his illustrious career. He endured a miserable tour of New Zealand where he failed to reach 20 in all four of his Test innings following a disappointing ODI series where he managed just one fifty in three matches. Still, most fans and experts would say that a turnaround of form in near future can't be ruled out.
However, one great former cricketer, possibly the greatest ever Indian cricketer, thinks he has seen deeper reasons for worry in Virat's performance during the tour of New Zealand. Kapil Dev, in an interview, talked about the technical deficiencies that, according to him, have crept into Kohli's game.
"When you reach a certain age, when you cross 30, then it affects your eyesight. Inswings, which used to be his strength, he used to flick them four, but now he has been dismissed twice. So, I think he needs to adjust his eyesight a bit. When big players start getting bowled or lbw to incoming deliveries then you have to tell them to practice more.
"It shows that your eyes and your reflexes have slowed down a bit and in no time your strengths turn into your weakness," the former India captain explained in an interaction with ABP News.
Kohli's troubles against inswingers
What the legendary former all-rounder has focused on is the fact that Kohli was dismissed, more than once, in New Zealand by deliveries than came into him. Tim Southee, the Kiwi pacer, got him out with inswingers more than once and even the military-medium pace bowler Colin de Grandhomme managed to have Kohli lbw through a delivery that nipped back in.
It is true that in India, there are lots of armchair critics who are very quick to write off players and pick faults with their techniques, after just a few failures. But this is not anyone, it is Kapil Dev. And he isn't finding fault with Kohli's technique as such but pointing out a biological fact.
"From 18-24, your eyesight is at the optimum level, but after that it depends on how you work on it. Players like Virender Sehwag, Rahul Dravid and Viv Richards have also faced similar difficulties in their career," the 1983 World Cup-winning captain explained.
Kohli good enough to recover form
But he didn't write off Kohli. On the contrary, he backed the master Indian batsman to make a strong comeback. "I think IPL will help him. He will start getting the hang of it. He's a great cricketer. He will definitely realise it himself and make adjustments," Kapil Dev said in conclusion.
And there is reason for the optimism. Several batsmen suffered a dip in form – a mid-life crisis if you will – including the great Sachin Tendulkar. But he and many others were able to make great comebacks and reach greater heights towards the end of her career. Kohli may do the same.