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What is Virat kohli doing wrong? – A deep analysis on Indian skipper’s lean patch

Even in the innings where Virat Kohli got a good start, the Indian Test skipper lost his wicket by chasing the deliveries bowled well outside off with the intention of going for cover drives.

Sudharshan Sridharan Author

Updated - 30 December 2021 3:18 pm

Virat Kohli hasn’t had a great impact in Test Cricket in recent years. After his last international century against Bangladesh in 2019, he has managed to smash only five fifty-plus scores in Test cricket in the last two years. Even in the innings where Virat Kohli got a good start, the Indian Test skipper lost his wicket by chasing the deliveries bowled well outside off with the intention of going for cover drives. The tweet below shows us that all his dismissals in 2021 were 26 cm outside from off-stump on an average against pacers. We will see what is the reason for this pattern of dismissal and how foot-work plays an important role in this.

Virat Kohli in Test cricket since 2020:
Inns: 25
Runs: 652
Avg: 26.08
50s: 5
HS: 74 vs Aus in Adelaide, 2020

– Virat Kohli’s while going for cover drives has got enough runs and while being tempted for it he has lost his wicket also in crucial juncture. Out of 19 innings that he has played in 2021, Kohli has got out in a similar fashion 10 times surprisingly to pace bowler by nicking the ball outside off.

– During India tour of England in 2021, all the Virat Kohli’s dismissals were caught behind dismissal only. Now in the ongoing South Africa Test match also, Virat Kohli was dismissed in a similar fashion once again in both innings, exposing his weakness while playing balls being bowled outside off stump.

– Virat Kohli, who was encountering the problem of facing out swinging deliveries especially from James Anderson during the tour of England in 2014, started encountering the same problem this year majorly as well. In 2020 Test series against New Zealand, Virat Kohli started getting dismissed to inswinging deliveries and that resulted in a change in his footwork. His similarity of dismissals in Tests can be seen in WTC’ 2021 Final, India tour to England and India tour to South Africa. 

– Virat Kohli was premeditatedly getting ready for inswinging delivery from some of the pacers as his back foot toe wasn’t pointing to the point field direction and thus he became susceptible to the outside edge for out swinging deliveries 

– During 2020-2021 period Virat Kohli has been often dismissed more than once in a similar caught and behind fashion by Ollie Robinson, Kyle Jamieson, James Anderson. 

Scores of Virat Kohli in those innings where he was dismissed by caught & behind way to the pace bowlers in 2021:
0(8) vs Eng in Ahmedabad
13(29) vs NZ in Southampton
0(1) vs Eng in Nottingham
42(103) & 20(31) vs Eng in Lord’s
7(17) & 55(125) vs Eng in Leeds
50(96) vs Eng in The Oval
35(94) & 18(32) vs SA in Centurion

In those two above highlighted innings, Virat Kohli was very well by smashing 8 boundaries in that innings but a slight angle deflection in backfoot became a major reason for those two dismissals.

Below images are Virat Kohli’s dismissals in the 2021 Test matches:
1. Ind vs Eng 4th Test in Ahmedabad
Here it can be seen the ball being bowled well outside off by Ben Stokes. Kohli just in a fraction of a second went for an attempt and was caught by the keeper behind. 

2. NZ vs Ind WTC’ 2021 Finals (2nd innings) at Southampton
Virat Kohli in this innings did expect an inswinger at start of the last day of the game in WTC’21 Final as in the previous innings he was dismissed by the same bowler (Kyle Jamieson) to an inswinging delivery. If you look at his back foot, it wasn’t at a 90-degree angle towards the stump and that was admitted as the reason for failure by Virat Kohli himself during the 2014 tour of England. Kohli revealed that he was prepared for inswinger deliveries during that 2014 England tour and got dismissed to those out swinging deliveries.

3. Eng vs Ind 1st Test at Nottingham
Virat Kohli after a disastrous tour to England in 2014, made a terrific comeback in the 2018 Test Series against England by changing his footwork and style of play (showing more patience and leaving the balls outside off). As a shocker, just in the very 1st delivery of 1st Test match during the England tour of 2021, Kohli was dismissed for a golden duck to James Anderson outswinging delivery.

4. Eng vs Ind 2nd Test at Lord’s
Virat Kohli after a very good start in 1st innings made the same mistake to Ollie Robinson’s out-swinging delivery while expecting an inswinger. In the 2nd innings Virat Kohli gifted his wicket by chasing a very loose delivery bowled well outside off by Sam Curran (Which wasn’t a wicket-taking delivery). Kohli in the intent of going for drive shot lost his wicket unfortunately in the 2nd innings.

5. Eng vs Ind 3rd Test at Leeds
Virat Kohli’s similar pattern of dismissal can be seen in this Test match too. During 1st innings (left image), he was dismissed by Anderson’s terrific ball, while in the 2nd innings Virat Kohli lost his wicket after smashing fifty to Robinson. In these images we can see the backfoot toe not being at 90-degree angle and foot not pointing the point field direction while chasing an outside off delivery.


6. Eng vs Ind 4th Test at The Oval
Ollie Robinson picked his wicket in the 1st innings of the game after Kohli reached his hard-earned fifty. Like in the previous images we can see Kohli getting out to pace bowler in a very similar fashion.

You can also read about Virat Kohli’s change in batting technique and the changes that Kohli made in footwork from 2014 tour of England to 2018 tour of England in the below-given link.

Virat Kohli’s batting technique analysis on England soil : From 2014 to 2021

7. SA vs Ind 1st Test 2021
Recently in this match, Virat Kohli chased down the ball going way outside off and got dismissed to Lungi Ngidi and Marco Jansen, respectively.

Virat Kohli might just be one good knock away from getting into his form, despite being technically correct also he would just need that patience to record his personal milestones at some point in time very soon. As fans all want Virat Kohli to be in the record books during 2022 and expect him to have a blockbuster year in cricket ahead.


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