Virat Kohli could be excused if he thinks the world is a Theater of the Absurd and his predicament is like the existential crisis of Estragon and Vladimir, the iconic characters in Waiting for Godot in which they wait and wait, incessantly, for something that never shows up.
Kohli’s ceaseless wait for form and runs somewhat resembles the miserable futility and tragic absurdity of the situation of the tramps in Samuel Beckett’s masterpiece. On another day and in another match, the ball, having brushed his gloves and then his thigh, could have gone towards the third man. Not on Friday (May 13). It went straight to short-fine leg.
A seemingly dejected Kohli, looked heavenwards and muttered to himself even as he walked back to the pavilion. It was not difficult to understand his frustration but the end result was the same: The Wait Continued.
“He is seeing the lighter side of it, every single way that you can possibly get out, is happening to him. That’s how the game works. Sometimes when you’re a little bit under pressure, the game finds ways to keep you under pressure, “Faf du Plessis, not too amused by the mode of Kohli’s unlucky dismissal, said rather philosophically. Kohli made 20 off 14 balls, with two fours and one six.
“All you can really do is make sure you keep working hard, keep a good intensity, a good attitude, keep staying positive, knowing that it’s around the corner. He played some really good shots tonight, obviously we like him to kick on. He is handling it really well. Tough patches are difficult for all of us. But he is in good spirits. He also believes it is around the corner, “the RCB captain replied to a query on how Kohli is handling the situation.
This happened to Kohli on a day when he showed the glimpses of imperiousness that he is known to display in the middle. Using his wrist-power he smacked one over mid-wicket for a six off Harpreet Brar after smashing two fours in an Arshdeep Singh over – one through a flick and another through a classic cover drive. Royal Challengers Bangalore, chasing a formidable 209, needed that sort of start and Kohli was, seemingly, rising to the challenge.
“We thought today was going to be the day. Today was the opportunity to put a line in the sand while chasing a formidable score like that,” said Mike Hesson, RCB’s director of cricket. “Virat looked very good today, and looked in very good touch and was aggressive. He is doing everything needed off the park, making sure he prepared well. We thought today would be his day. He has not had a huge amount of good fortune , especially when he got himself set. He is as frustrated as anybody. “
A total of 236 runs in 13 games, including three golden ducks, is not the batting standard that he is known to exhibit but long before the IPL started, Kohli’s wait for his real form started. The RCB teammates and support staff tried to comfort, console and cheer up Kohli after the game but he knows his fate is in his own hands.
Not too surprisingly, Kohli’s form has been a topic of national debate with experts providing varying advice – some asking him to rest and some others saying exactly the opposite.
“He is the best we have had at RCB and he is an incredible player. He has not scored the volume of runs he would have liked to. It is not a technical thing. He is putting a lot of work behind the scenes. We thought we would see it today. Virat is as frustrated as anyone. We know it (a big knock from Kohli) is around the corner, “Hesson said, summing up the Kohli situation. The wait continues.