One of the most frustrating things about IPL 2022 thus far has been Rohit Sharma‘s and Virat Kohli‘s dismal form. India’s two top batters have struggled, whether measured by class and quality or by statistics. Their recurrent failures have prompted alarm not only among their legions of admirers, but also in the teams they represent and, increasingly, in the country’s cricketing elite.

With the T20 World Cup coming up later this year, India’s selectors regard the IPL – despite the fact that it is a home league – as a quick reckoner for shortlisting players who could make the trip Down Under. Given their undeniable talent and extensive experience, Rohit and Kohli are unlikely to be missed. The selectors, on the other hand, would be much delighted if they started scoring runs right away.

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Both have outstanding IPL records. Kohli has the most runs (6,402) in the tournament’s 15-year history, while Rohit is third with 5725 runs. The quality and consistency of their batting, both in the IPL and globally, distinguished them as unique, ranking them among the finest in the world. However, their bats have been quiet this year.

When it comes to poor scores, they have taken a step-by-step approach. Kohli has 119 runs in seven matches, while Rohit has 114 in six. Neither has a half-century to his name, which is abysmal by their own high standards. Every year, the two are consistently among the top ten batters in the IPL at any given time. This year, about halfway through the competition, Kohli is ranked 35th, and Rohit is ranked three places lower.

Rohit’s insignificant efforts have harmed Mumbai Indians‘ chances of winning the title for the sixth time. Apart from his able captaincy, his aggressive, flashy batting at the top has played a significant role in the team’s remarkable record, which is the greatest in the world.

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He is undoubtedly among the top batters in the world in terms of versatility, ease of scoring against both pace and spin, and when at his best, he is the most entertaining to watch. With a huge repertoire of strokes and the ability to clear the field at will, he has become the most dangerous batter in the world in recent years.

Kohli has no titles to his name in an equally long IPL career that included a lengthy stint as captain of Royal Challengers Bangalore. However, despite his prolific run-scoring, this failure is not down to him, as some believe. As previously stated, he is still the league’s leading scorer, and he has done so with great style, trademark energy, and spectacular counter-attacks. Kohli’s four centuries in the 2016 season also set a new league record.

He has been possibly the most consistent batter in terms of making runs while still maintaining a razor-sharp competitive instinct. In that light, he has appeared to be a pale shadow of himself this season.

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Kohli has had a difficult couple of years. His prolific run-scoring across formats has mysteriously slowed. He has been stuck on 70 international hundreds for nearly two years. While he didn’t appear to be in the traditional lean trot, the big, impactful scores that used to come in a gush are now reduced to a trickle. It’s been 100 innings – in all formats and tournaments – since Kohli struck a century, which is both annoying and newsworthy.

While Rohit has been in fine form but has squandered multiple good starts due to poor stroke selection, Kohli’s batting has shown indications of mental strain and distraction. With the exception of a fine 40-something, he’s hardly gotten off to a good start, being run out twice (a rarity for him) and getting a golden duck with an indiscreet swish outside the off-stump.

Ravi Shastri, Kohli’s top coach for most of his captaincy, believes the former India captain needs a break from the game in order to play for another 6-7 years. “His brain is fried from all the pressure he’s had to endure as the team’s leading batter and captain and needs to spend some time out to regain his mojo,” Shastri is convinced.

Sunil Gavaskar, a former India captain, has backed Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, who are battling for runs in this season’s IPL, claiming that their form is just one inning away.

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Sunil Gavaskar believes that Rohit Sharma’s return to form will transform the fortunes of the Mumbai Indians, who had been winless after seven games in the IPL 2022. Mumbai has had a terrible season in IPL 2022, and their losing record this season has sent them to the bottom of the 10-team IPL points table. Gavaskar pointed out that Mumbai are no longer in contention for the playoffs.

“They will be down in the dumps. They are a champion team. They have won this trophy 5 times. So, obviously, they’ll feel disappointed. To lose 7 in a row, means they are almost out of the tournament. Like I said before, their batters have to score runs. It’s got to be a team performance,” Sunil Gavaskar revealed to Star Sports.

“Form is invariably one innings away. He has gone 7 innings without scoring the kind of runs that we all expect from him. But you can regain your form in just one innings. That’s what Mumbai Indians have to keep hoping for. What it will do also, it will make an impact on the rest of the team. When he scores runs, you can be pretty certain that the team will post big totals. He is the kind of person who will go on to get into the 80s and 90s. His form is important for MI,” Gavaskar continued.

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“It’s just one of those things. When somebody goes through a bad patch, then it’s difficult. You make simple mistakes, sometimes you get a great delivery, and you get to see a great catch taken. Sometimes an inside edge goes onto stumps,” the 72-year-old former cricketer said.

“It’s happening to Kohli too. Kohli’s first mistake is turning out to be his last mistake. For both these players, it’s just a matter of one innings, one innings where you get to 30, once they get there, they will get the big score,” Gavaskar further added.

RCB coach Sanjay Bangar also defended Kohli, saying he is doing “everything that is under his control” but there comes a point in a player’s career when fielders take the initial edge.

“He (Kohli) is somebody who has consistently performed for RCB. Players go through these kind of rough patches. He started the season really well, nearly hit the winning runs in Pune but then you have an odd run-out or the first edge that finds his bat lands in fielder’s hands,” Bangar, India’s long-serving batting coach, stated.

“He is certainly doing everything that is in his control. He is doing his fitness and skills and taking good breaks and not letting the pressure get to him. He has been taking breaks at regular intervals and will continue to do so going forward.” Bangar defended Kohli vehemently, stating that he understood that people have their thoughts because he has been such a prominent player for India for so long.

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“Even if you look at South Africa series, the 80-odd that he scored in one of the Test matches was a fine innings,” Bangar said.

There is still a lot of cricket left this season, and how their respective teams fare will be heavily influenced by Kohli and Rohit’s performances.

In Kohli’s situation, this is especially essential because RCB is now top of the points table, despite his dismal play. If he gets going, RCB’s desire to win their first title will gain momentum. Mumbai Indians appear to be out of contention for a spot in the play-offs, but Rohit’s return to form is still critical – both for personal reasons and for MI’s dignity. In a broader sense, it is, of course, preparing for the T20 World Cup. Fans and selectors alike will be hoping that their present drought ends quickly and that both batsmen produce a flood of runs.