Virat Kohli has been blighted by misjudgment in the ongoing Test series between India and Australia. In the second innings of the Pune Test, Kohli left a straight ball from left-arm orthodox spinner Steve O’Keefe to be bowled for 13. In the second Test at the M Chinnaswamy stadium, the Indian skipper suffered yet another serious error in judgment which left many of his fans baffled. (2nd Test Day 1 Highlights)
In the 34th over of the innings, with Kohli batting on 12, Kohli chose to not offer a shot to an off-break that was going on to crash on to the stumps and he was given out LBW. For the third straight innings, Kohli had failed.
Lyon went on to take 8/50, the best figures by an overseas bowler in Tests in India as the hosts were bowled out for 189. It was also the fifth time he had dismissed Kohli in Tests.
According to former India batsman and Sanjay Manjrekar, Kohli may have been hoodwinked by the pitch in leaving the delivery that caused his dismissal. Manjrekar, who is currently commentating on the match, opined that it was a previous delivery by Lyon that was playing on Kohli’s mind that led to the wicket.
Showing a replay of an earlier delivery that turned in, Kohli attempted to glance it to fine leg and there was an appeal for a catch. Manjrekar said the Indian skipper might have expected the ball to turn and hence made the decision to leave it rather than glance it towards leg slip, as he had done before.
“If you are wondering why such a terrific batsman would make an error of judgment, there’s always a prelude to things. So it was that ball early in the over that bounced, turned and there was a mild appeal for caught behind,” former India cricketer Manjrekar discussed with co-commentator and former Australian fast bowler Brett Lee.
“That ball, he tried to play was on the backfoot. This time around, he didn’t want to play it. Unfortunately, the ball did not turn and bounce as he’d expected,” Manjrekar continued.
Lee, the former Australia pacer who picked up 310 wickets in 76 Tests, said that Lyon’s finger position was an indicator of how he might have attempted variations to get rid of Kohli.
“The replay of the one (delivery) that got the wicket is a great indication of Lyon’s variation. The one that did spin came right over the top and got the purchase but the replay of him getting the wicket shows that his index finger came out. It tells me that he tried to bowl the over-spinner,” said Lee.
GOT HIM! Lyon finishes with 8-50, the sixth-best Test figures by an Aussie EVER! Incredible from the GOAT. India all out for 189 #INDvAUS— cricket.com.au (@CricketAus) March 4, 2017
However, Manjrekar pointed out that the spin on the previous ball and lack of it on the second one could have been down to the ball pitching on certain lengths of the pitch.
“It could have been luck as well because the ball that turned may have just exploded from the pitch. The one that didn’t may have bounced on a good part of the pitch,” Manjrekar concluded.