IND vs IRE: Dinesh Karthik explains main reason behind Virat Kohli's struggle with the bat during Covid-19 pandemic

Published - 03 Jun 2024, 11:21 PM | Updated - 03 Jun 2024, 11:25 PM

Dinesh Karthik, Virat Kohli
Dinesh Karthik, Virat Kohli (Credits: X)

All eyes will be on Virat Kohli in the ongoing ICC T20 World Cup 2024. The batting superstar looks set to lead Team India's charge with the bat once again.

The former India skipper is in stunning form at the moment and recently finished the IPL season as the highest run-scorer. He became the first-ever Indian player to finish the IPL season as the top-scorer twice. In a season where no other batter could even reach the 600-run mark, Virat Kohli scored more than 700 runs.

The right-handed batsman scored 741 runs with the help of a century and five half-centuries. And while Virat Kohli has been scoring runs for fun once again, things were very different during the 2020-21 phase. He was struggling to score consistently and could not score a single century in international cricket in 2020 and 2021.

After the century against Bangladesh in November 2019, he finally scored another in international cricket in September 2022. Kohli's struggle had left the entire cricketing world stunned as one of the most prolific run-scorers in the history of the game could not deliver with the bat.

Dinesh Karthik on Virat Kohli's struggle:

Virat Kohli's former IPL and India teammate Dinesh Karthik has explained the reason behind his struggle to do well in those two years. Speaking to Cricbuzz, the former wicketkeeper-batsman stated that the empty stands due to the Covid-19 pandemic were a big reason behind Kohli's struggle. Karthik explained how the crowd drives Kohli and its absence played a big role in the India superstar's lean phase with the bat.

"Very disarming for a start when you don't play with crowds. It took us sometime when we played in IPL without any crowds, it was very weird. When you know you hit a shot, you feel like you are playing in a domestic game.

"It very much feels like that, there is nobody around to clap, no sounds. At times, you only hear some claps from the dressing room. It is very weird and it is very hard for people who have played international cricket consistently.

"I really feel one of Virat Kohli's reasons for him not to have done as well as he generally does during that covid phase is the fact there was no crowd around," said Karthik.

"He is someone who completely gets enamored and you know likes getting pushed by crowds and then the likes of Hardik Pandya, you can keep naming big names from India and other parts of the country as well.

"For Virat Kohli, I can say that would have definitely played a massive part, just playing to nobody it would feel weird. It is one thing playing to a TV audience, which is great but you don't hear them clapping for you. It is a very different feeling to play in front of no one," he further added.

Meanwhile, Team India will open their campaign in the ongoing ICC T20 World Cup on June 5 against Ireland in New York.


Dinesh Karthik Virat Kohli ICC T20 World Cup India National Cricket Team