Eleven days after his Indian Premier League season came to a close, Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli still can’t explain why last year’s runners-up finished dead last in 2017.
Bangalore, on paper, boasted one of the most powerful T20 batting line-ups in history, with the likes of Chris Gayle, AB de Villiers, Shane Watson, Travis Head and Kedar Jadhav joining Kohli, perhaps the best all-format batsman in the world.
But for a reason unknown to Kohli or head coach Daniel Vettori, the RCB batting unit failed to click in the 10th edition of the lucrative tournament and as a result the franchise finished on the bottom of the points table.
Quick single: Ponting rates each of the Aussies' IPL
Kohli, 2016’s leading run-scorer, was again the best for Bangalore, but his 308 runs in 10 innings (he missed the first four games with injury) was a far cry from the 937 at 81.08 he posted 12 months earlier.
De Villiers (216) and Gayle (200) were a shadow of their destructive selves, scoring only two half-centuries in 18 innings combined.
And Watson, who was sold for more than AUD$2m at the IPL auction ahead of last season, could manage only 71 runs in seven innings in what he described as his “worst” campaign ever.
While those figures might appear all doom and gloom, Kohli found some positives in the trying season where he developed as a person and a leader in the difficult climate.
"After the kind of season we’ve had, after a tournament like that, it teaches you about yourself as a person at a few levels,” Kohli told reporters in Mumbai on Wednesday as India prepared to depart for the United Kingdom for their Champions Trophy defence.
"I think from the mindset point of view it made me realise you can’t possibly do everything in every game.
"Sometimes people might start looking at you like that but as a human being you need to understand your limitations as well and you need to take a backward step.
"It was so bizarre, everything we tried was just going against us.
"I’ve never experienced that in a side.
"Not 11, all 15 guys in the squad were in the same mindset. I’ve never seen that happen. It was quite bizarre."
The high-octane Kohli is perhaps the most competitive and combative cricketer on the planet.
His emotions at times got the better of him during the Qantas Tour of India when his aggression leached new levels in India’s fiery 2-1 series win over Australia.
Quick single: Maxwell suffers blow in the nets
While that approach worked in the five-day format, it was unable to inspire his IPL teammates off the canvas this year.
But with each loss comes learning, and this season provided a master’s degree worth of education for the 28-year-old.
"Maybe (the season) was to teach me that you need to balance things out and take a backward step in how much you can do on the field, in how much you intensity you can play with – maybe choose your phases.
"As I keep getting older those things need to be learnt because you don’t want to burn out too quickly.
"Those were the biggest learnings for me.
"I was pretty fortunate that I got to experience that kind of time.
"It teaches you a lot as a captain, it teaches you a lot composure-wise.
"You take a lot away from failures. That’s something I’ve always cherished."