Why Virat Kohli’s decision-making has been a flop in India vs Australia series

India are yet to get their Decision Review System (DRS) act together, with skipper Virat Kohli’s failed review in the second Test against Australia the latest example of their flawed approach

cricket Updated: Mar 04, 2017 22:57 IST
N. Ananthanarayanan
N. Ananthanarayanan
Hindustan Times, Bangalore
virat Kohli,Indian cricket team,India vs australia
Virat Kohli waiting for third umpire decision during day one of the second Test match between India and Australia at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore on Saturday. (BCCI)

India’s early handling of the Decision Review System (DRS) has come in for criticism, and their judgement left them anguishing once again in the current Test series against Australia. (LIVE SCORE | LIVE BLOG)

After getting it all wrong in the first Test defeat in Pune, India’s first attempt was unsuccessful on Saturday after skipper Virat Kohli was given out leg before against Aussie off-spinner Nathan Lyon for 12 after lunch on Day 1 of the second Test here.

In Pune, Virat Kohli was beaten and bowled in the second innings trying to leave a delivery from left-arm spinner Steve O’Keefe, which held its line and crashed into off-stump. The Indian skipper got it wrong trying to leave a delivery late at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium.

Virat Kohli, in the form of his life going into the series, was out for 0 and 13 in the first Test.

Nathan Lyon, in the middle of a brilliant spell, got it to turn just a bit and from short of good length, to catch Virat Kohli in two minds. It struck him below the roll of the front pad as he was rooted to the crease.

Reluctant at first

Kohli was hesitant to call for a review at first, but with India’s hopes of posting a big total hinging on their best batsman coming good, he went for it after a chat with partner KL Rahul. However, replays showed the ball had pitched in line and would have hit middle and leg stump.

In Pune, after not getting their reviews right in the first innings, India’s woes in the second innings were compounded when both openers, Murali Vijay and KL Rahul, wasted reviews in 5.3 overs though both, trapped leg before, looked out.

It exhausted India’s two reviews (until 80 overs), leaving the batsmen following them with no scope for redressal if given out wrongly on the treacherous pitch.

India coach Anil Kumble defended the poor reviews, the Indian Board having agreed to DRS only before the England series. Ahead of the Bangalore Test, Kumble was asked about the wasted reviews.

“We keep talking about it..and I don’t think we messed it up,” he said. “If you looked at the two series since it was introduced, we did better than the opposition - both against England and against Bangladesh.

“It’s too early to talk about that (DRS). You can always have hindsight, and expect that you could’ve missed out. But those calls were really close. So I don’t see a reason why we need to worry too much.

In the morning, there was discussion by opener Abhinav Mukund after he fell leg before to Mitchell Starc, but he and KL Rahul decided not to review.

In his brief stay, Virat Kohli faced a tricky over Starc, his ex-Royal Challengers Bangalore team mate. In one over soon after lunch, Kohli dug out a yorker, and Starc walked down the pitch smiling.

There also seemed some ‘friendly fire’ from Mitchell Starc after Kohli almost nicked trying to guide a slow bouncer outside off, though the skipper put away the next delivery, pitched up, superbly through cover for four.

First Published: Mar 04, 2017 13:41 IST