Virat Kohli, once considered a prominent member of the “Fab 4” in international cricket alongside Steve Smith, Kane Williamson, and Joe Root, is no longer seen as part of this group due to a significant slump in his performance, particularly in Test cricket, over recent years.

Starting from 2020, in 25 Test matches, Kohli scored 1277 runs at an average of 29.69, with only one century. This performance stands in stark contrast to his earlier career, where his consistent and high scoring was almost taken for granted. His struggles have been so noticeable that at one point his place in the Indian team was even questioned, which would have been unimaginable in the past.

Comparatively, during this period, the other members of the Fab 4 have maintained high averages, well above 50, in Test cricket. For instance, Steve Smith scored 1805 runs at an average of 48.78, with as many as five hundreds since the start of 2020. Similarly, Kane Williamson has averaged 72.70, Joe Root has averaged 54.50, and the emerging player Babar Azam has averaged 55.25.

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Despite Kohli’s underperformance in Test cricket, he has found success in limited-overs formats. He has averaged 41.58 from 32 ODIs, with three hundreds and 52.88 from 40 T20Is, with one hundred since 2020. However, the decline in his Test cricket form has led to his position in the Fab 4 being questioned.

It’s also worth noting that Kohli has stepped back from leadership roles both for the Indian national team and his IPL franchise, Royal Challengers Bangalore. He is no longer the all-format captain for India, with Rohit Sharma taking over, and Faf du Plessis has assumed leadership at Royal Challengers Bangalore. It’s possible that the pressures of leadership, along with the global impact of COVID-19, have affected his performance.

In conclusion, the decline in Kohli’s form, particularly in Test cricket, compared to the consistently high performances of the other members of the Fab 4, has led to questions about whether he is still part of this esteemed group. The hope is that with the pressures of leadership removed, Kohli may be able to rediscover his form and return to his earlier level of performance.

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