Ever since he poked outside off stump to fall caught behind in India’s second innings of the World Test Championship final against New Zealand in June, skipper Virat Kohli has now been dismissed nine successive times in overseas Tests either caught by the wicketkeeper or at first slip. His dismissal to Lungi Ngidi at Centurion in the series opener against South Africa on Sunday was the latest in the trend. We take a look at each of the dismissals
What do the numbers say?
For the first four years of his Test career until the 2014 tour of England where James Anderson sorted him out, Kohli averaged just 28 in the corridor outside off stump. Cricviz data shows that in the next four years – from 2015 to 2019 – he averaged an incredible 92 in the same channel. But of late, it has once again become his nemesis.
WTC final, Southampton, 2nd innings, c Watling b Jamieson 13
After having gone leg-before to the same bowler in the first innings, Kohli was opened up by a shortish delivery from Kyle Jamieson that straightened on the sixth or seventh stump line. He still poked at it off the back foot and edged it to the keeper to start what has become a trend.
1st Test, Nottingham, 1st innings, c Buttler b Anderson 0
The first round of the widely-expected contest lasted just one ball in the England series opener. Kohli sprang well forward to try to defend a James Anderson delivery pitched up around the sixth stump. But the ball held its line to take the nick through to keeper Jos Buttler, handing Kohli a golden duck.
2nd Test, Lords, 1st innings, c Root b Robinson 42
Again, a delivery that Kohli could have possibly left was to consume him. Ollie Robinson angled it in a bit on a good length on the fifth or sixth stump line. Kohli was standing almost outside off stump as he pushed at the ball only to send it to rival captain Joe Root at first slip.
2nd Test, Lords, 2nd innings, c Buttler b Curran 20
This was the usual left-armer’s angle heading across Kohli, and once more, around that sixth-stump line. He’d just survived a review for lbw against the same bowler for the one coming in at his pads and ended up stretching forward to follow Sam Curran’s angle. Jos Buttler took the thick edge low and safe.
Ngidi has his third ☝️
It’s a big one as Virat Kohli is gone for 35!
— ICC (@ICC) December 26, 2021
3rd Test, Leeds, 1st innings, c Buttler b Anderson 7
Anderson had had his great rival defending at Trent Bridge, he would get him on the drive at Headingley. Yet another one on or about the fifth or sixth stump, slanted in full, and inviting the big shot. Kohli obliged, the ball changed direction and Buttler accepted one more edge into his gloves.
3rd Test, Leeds, 2nd innings, c Root b Robinson 55
He’d just made his first half-century of the tour, but Kohli was to depart in what was by now familiar fashion for the second time in the series to Robinson. The inward angle from the right-armer perhaps made him play a length ball on fifth stump, and captain Root gobbled up the edge at first slip.
4th Test, Oval, 1st innings, c Bairstow b Robinson 50
This one bucked the trend somewhat, but only in the sense that Kohli was trying to turn Robinson to the leg side. The delivery was similar, angled in towards the fourth stump on a good length. Kohli played with a closed bat-face from the crease, but the ball still found its way to the keeper off the leading edge.
4th Test, Oval, 2nd innings, c Overton b Ali 44
All the previous seven dismissals had been to pace, Moeen Ali’s off-spin was to account for Kohli now. The area was the same: the corridor outside off, on the fifth stump. Kohli leaned forward to try to defend a flighted delivery, but he was pushing for more turn than there was and the ball carried to slip comfortably.
1st Test, Centurion, 1st innings, c Mulder b Ngidi
Lungi Ngidi’s delivery on Sunday was easily the widest of the lot. It was floated up way outside off stump for the drive. Kohli saw that and immediately went hard at it. But the ball swung away late and a healthy edge flew to Wiaan Mulder at first slip, where the all-rounder completed the snare.