Kohli the captain has faced it ever since taking charge in 2012. Over the seven years, he has seen multiple set of players just unable to step up to his demands. The blame for that lies not just with the players though, and Kohli's leadership itself has rightly come under the scanner this IPL.
On Sunday, Kohli the batsman repeatedly passed on the responsibility to his colleagues, who just didn't take it. In a rather subdued and weird innings, Kohli ended with 41 off 33, but was silently watching from the other end for the most part as he hardly got strike.
Kohli faced just 20 balls in the first 10 overs - clearly defeating the purpose of him opening the batting. In fact, he faced just 28 balls in the first 16 overs, in which he managed only 27 runs.
Virat Kohli opened the batting, yet it's the end of the 14th over and he's only faced 26 balls. Only twice in his career has he opened, batted this long into the innings, and faced fewer deliveries. #RCBvDC #IPL2019
— The Cricket Prof. (@CricProf) April 7, 2019
Interestingly, it seemed like Kohli was not in any sort of a hurry too. In the rare occasions he got strike, he passed it back. Kohli scored 25 singles in all, with 17 of those coming in consecutive balls he faced.
By the end of the 16th over, Kohli had scored just one boundary. That came in the very first ball he faced, through a streaky edge that just about evaded the man at wide slip.
After that, Kohli decided to take it slow and long, and was content nudging and driving for singles. His partners, however, just didn't pass the strike back.
AB de Villiers played seven dots in his 16 balls. Marcus Stoinis, the No. 4, played six dots in his 17 balls. Both fell trying to make a move, which meant RCB managed only six an over for the first 12.
Moeen Ali gave the innings impetus with three sixes and a four, but he could manage only a cameo of 32 (18). Once he fell, Kohli tried breaking free with a couple of sixes off Sandeep Lamichhane, but fell when he targeted Kagiso Rabada. He was the first of three wickets to fall in the 18th over, killing RCB's hopes of putting up a competitive target. Delhi's wobbly middle-order did make the game interesting towards the end, but Bangalore just didn't have enough runs on the board.
Barring the 49-ball 84 on a belter of a Chinnaswamy pitch against KKR, Kohli has taken the role of being the anchor throughout this season. His strike-rate this season is just over 126. In comparison, even Ajinkya Rahane has struck at over 130.
The approach didn't work against Delhi though, as the anchor was stuck at the non-striker's end for way too long.
First Published: April 7, 2019, 7:42 PM IST