Since falling behind in India’s second inning of the Test World Cup final against New Zealand in June, skipper Virat Kohli has been sacked nine times in a row in foreign tests caught either by the wicketkeeper or on the first slip. His sacking Lungi Ngidi at Centurion in the series opener against South Africa on Sunday was the latest trend. We look at each of the cancellations
What do the numbers say?
In the first four years of his testing career, up to the 2014 England tour when James Anderson sorted him out, Kohli was just 28 on average in the corridor outside the stump. Cricviz data shows he hit an average of an incredible 92 on the same channel over the next four years – from 2015 to 2019. But lately it’s been his archenemy again.
WTC Finals, Southampton, 2nd innings, c Watling b Jamieson 13th
After playing up front with the same bowler for the first innings, Kohli was opened by a short delivery from Kyle Jamieson, which was directed on the sixth or seventh stub line. He still nudged it with his back foot and pushed it towards the keeper to start a trend.
1st Test, Nottingham, 1st innings, c Buttler b Anderson 0
The first round of the highly anticipated competition lasted just one ball when the England Series opened. Kohli jumped far forward trying to defend a shipment from James Anderson that was pitched around the sixth stump. But the ball held its line to get the shot to goalkeeper Jos Buttler, who handed Kohli a golden duck.
2nd Test, Lords, 1st innings, c Root b Robinson 42
Again there was a delivery that Kohli might have left for him to consume. Ollie Robinson angled it a bit for a good length on the fifth or sixth stump line. Kohli was almost out of the stump when he pressed the ball, only to send it to rival Captain Joe Root on the first slip.
2nd Test, Lords, 2nd innings, c Buttler b Curran 20th
This was the usual angle of the left arm going over Kohli and again around the line of the sixth stump. He’d just survived a review for lbw against the same bowler who passed his pads and eventually reached out to follow Sam Curran’s angle. Jos Buttler took the thick ledge deeply and safely.
Ngidi has his third ️
It’s a big deal because Virat Kohli is gone for 35!
– ICC (@ICC) December 26, 2021
3rd Test, Leeds, 1st innings, c Buttler b Anderson 7th
Anderson had had his big rival defended at Trent Bridge, and he was going to take him to Headingley. Another one on or around the fifth or sixth stump, placed at an angle and invites you to a big throw. Kohli signed up, the ball changed direction, and Buttler accepted another edge in his gloves.
3rd Test, Leeds, 2nd innings, c Root b Robinson 55
He had just completed his first half century touring, but Kohli was about to leave for the second time in the series after Robinson in the now familiar fashion. The inward angle of the right armor might have made him play a long ball on the fifth stump, and Captain Root devoured the ledge on the first slip.
4th Test, oval, 1st innings, c Bairstow b Robinson 50
This bucked the trend somewhat, but only in the sense that Kohli was trying to get Robinson to get on the side of the leg. The delivery was similar, angled towards the fourth stump at a good length. Kohli played out of the circle with a closed clubface, but the ball found its way over the leading edge to the keeper.
4th Test, oval, 2nd innings, c Overton b Ali 44
All previous seven layoffs were due to Pace, Moeen Ali’s off-spin was now responsible for Kohli. The area was the same: the corridor outside, on the fifth stump. Kohli leaned over to try to defend a flying throw, but pushed for more spin than there was, and the ball was carried to slide comfortably.
1st Test, Centurion, 1st innings, c Mulder b Ngidi
The delivery from Lungi Ngidi on Sunday was by far the largest. It was swum far out from the tree stump for the ride up. Kohli saw that and immediately got down to it. But the ball swung away late and a healthy flank flew to Wiaan Mulder on the first slip, where the all-rounder completed the snare.
“Freelance pop culture practitioner. Proud social media scholar. Total travel fanatic. Food maven. Coffee specialist.”