Don’t duck this problem, Virat!

Virat Kohli suffered his third first-ball duck of IPL-15 against the Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Wankhede Stadium on Sunday. This is the second time the Orange Army have dismissed the former India captain without scoring off the very first delivery this season. His other first-ball duck in IPL-15 came against Lucknow Super Giants.
 
The buzzing Wankhede crowd suddenly went mute when SRH spinner Jagadeesha Suchith dismissed Kohli, who while trying to just tap the ball leg-side, ended up giving catch practice to SRH skipper Kane Williamson at short mid-wicket.

Expression says it all

Kohli’s expression said it all—head down, one hand on his head and shoulders drooping—as he walked back to the dugout. He then slowly trudged his way to the dressing room.

There has been no set pattern of dismissal for Kohli so far. He was clean bowled twice, caught at backward point twice besides being leg-before wicket, run-out and caught in the deep and slips.

Balvinder Singh Sandhu and Mugadha Bavare

1983 World Cup-winner Balvinder Singh Sandhu, who is also a Level-3 NCA coach, felt that Kohli should escape to a jungle for a few weeks. “There is nothing wrong with his batting because he’s not getting out in a particular mode. It’s just that he is going through a rough patch, which is like quicksand—the more he tries to come out of it, the deeper he will get in. As a coach, I suggest he isolates from his daily routine and goes to a jungle where he can be with nature and wildlife. It will help him rejuvenate and come back mentally fresher,” Sandhu told mid-day on Sunday.

“He has a lovely family. His wife Anushka Sharma is a lively character and a great entertainer. They also have a lovely kid now. Virat should just cut off from the rest of the world and even social media for a few weeks. He should not watch TV either. He should not touch the cricket bat, ball or anything to do with the game. He should just be by himself. By moving away from the action, it will give him space to introspect and analyse passively. He is slowly drifting towards a burnout,” added Sandhu, who also used the same method to bounce back during his playing days.

Mind that matters

Sports psychologist Mugdha Bavare, who recently worked with the Indian women’s cricket team during the World Cup in New Zealand, felt Kohli can gain from professional help towards his mental make-up. “Most cricketers and athletes go through ups and downs, so Virat is not alien to it. This is just a phase. Taking help from a mental trainer or a psychologist can help deal with the issue in a better way. Even taking a break can work at times. But for sure, this is the time when the player needs support,” she said.

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