IPL 2021 MI vs RCB: Can Mumbai Indians exploit this big weakness of Virat Kohli?

Updated on Apr 08, 2021 12:32 PM IST
  • Mumbai Indians vs Royal Challengers Bangalore IPL 2021: While Jasprit Bumrah has dismissed Kohli thrice in the IPL before, the threat posed by left-arm paceman Trent Boult is even greater. Boult might not have dismissed Kohli ever in T20 cricket, but he has had the better of him in Tests and ODIs.
RCB captain Virat Kohli.(RCB/Twitter)
RCB captain Virat Kohli.(RCB/Twitter)

Virat Kohli must have given enormous hope and joy to the RCB faithfuls when he declared that he was looking to open the innings in IPL 2021. But it must have given sleepless nights to the team managements of the opposing franchises as it would have brought back memories of the 2016 season. Kohli had opened the innings for RCB that year and scored an IPL-record 973 runs, the most in a single season, with 4 centuries to his name.

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When he gets out in the middle on Friday in the opening encounter of IPL 2021, the RCB skipper would want to make statement early in the tournament against favourites and two-time defending champions Mumbai Indians.

So, what can Rohit Sharma and his men do to negate the threat of Kohli the opener? Well, they have one of the deadliest new ball combinations in their arsenal and the two world-class pacers can actually come in handy.

While Jasprit Bumrah has dismissed Kohli thrice in the IPL before, the threat posed by left-arm paceman Trent Boult is even greater. Boult might not have dismissed Kohli ever in T20 cricket, but he has had the better of him in Tests and ODIs.

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Boult's stock delivery, which goes away from the right-hander after pitching, could trouble Kohli. The fact that we are dwelling so much on the threat that Boult poses, despite him not having dismissed Kohli in T20s, is because of Kohli's record against left-arm seamers in IPL.

He has been dismissed 30 times by left-arm pacers in the league and also has his worst dot-ball percentage and balls per dismissal record against them. Kohli gets dismissed by a left-arm pacer every 18.27 deliveries he faces from them and that is a by far his worst against any other bowler type.

Virat Kohli record against bowler types in IPL
Virat Kohli record against bowler types in IPL

But there would be little or no help available from the surface in Chennai and Boult would have to use his experience and guile against a player who is on eof the finest in the world.

Kohli's record as an opener is much better as compared to his record while batting in other positions in the league. Virat Kohli averages 47.96 as an opener in the IPL as compared to his average in 34.0 in other positions. His average of 47.96 as an opener is the 3rd best among the 60 openers who have faced 250+ balls in the IPL.

Best average among openers in IPL
Best average among openers in IPL


Also, Kohli has a strike-rate of over 200 in the death overs, which is stupendous and also means that Mumbai Indians can not afford to let him carry his bat through the innings.

It is going to be a blockbuster clash on Friday as Kohli looks to dismantle the aura of invincibility around Mumbai Indians.

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