New Delhi: Team India has been unstoppable in the ICC ODI World Cup 2023, winning all nine league-stage matches with ease. The Men in Blue have topped the points table with 18 points and a net run rate of +1.87. They have shown their dominance in all three departments of the game, batting, bowling, and fielding. The fans and experts are all praises for the Indian team, who are the favorites to lift the trophy for the third time.
However, there is one concern that might haunt the Indian captain Virat Kohli, who has been in sublime form in the league stage matches. Kohli has scored 594 runs in nine innings at an average of 99, with two centuries and five half-centuries. He has been the backbone of the Indian batting line-up, anchoring the innings and accelerating when needed. He has also hit 55 fours and seven sixes, showing his class and aggression.
But when it comes to the knockout matches of the ODI World Cup, Kohli has a dismal record that he would like to forget. Kohli has played six knockout matches in the ODI World Cup so far and has failed to score more than 35 runs in any of them. In fact, he has not even reached double figures in four of them. His highest score in the knockouts is 35, which he made against Sri Lanka in the final of the 2011 ODI World Cup, which India won by six wickets.
Kohli’s performance in the knockouts has starkly contrasted with his performance in the league stage matches, where he has scored heavily and consistently. In the 2011, 2015, and 2019 editions of the ODI World Cup, Kohli scored 282, 305, and 442 runs in the league stage matches, but could not replicate the same form in the knockouts. He was dismissed for low scores of 24, 9, 3, 1, and 1 in the quarter-finals, semi-finals, and finals of these tournaments.
The table below shows Kohli’s performance in the ODI World Cup knockouts:
The question that arises is why Kohli has not been able to perform well in the knockouts, despite being one of the best batsmen in the world. Is it the pressure of the big stage, the quality of the opposition, or just a coincidence? Whatever the reason, Kohli would be eager to break the jinx and score big in the semi-final against New Zealand on 15th November.
New Zealand is a formidable team that has reached the semi-finals for the fourth consecutive time in the ODI World Cup. They have a balanced squad, with experienced and talented players in both batting and bowling. They have also beaten India in the semi-final of the 2019 ODI World Cup, defending a modest total of 239. Kohli was one of the victims of the New Zealand pace attack, falling for just one run in the second over.
Kohli hopes to avenge that defeat and lead India to the final of the ODI World Cup 2023. He has the opportunity to prove his critics wrong and show his mettle in the knockouts. He has the support of a strong and confident team, who have been performing brilliantly in the tournament. He has the skill and the temperament to overcome any challenge and score runs in any situation. He has the chance to create history and become the first captain to win all the matches in the ODI World Cup.
Will Kohli break the jinx and score big in the semi-final against New Zealand? Will he guide India to the final and lift the trophy? The answers will be revealed on 15th November, when the two teams clash at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata. It will be a thrilling contest, with high stakes and high expectations. The fans are eagerly waiting for the match, and so is Kohli.