NZ vs IND: Virat Kohli's sturdy deadlock against leg-spinners
Virat Kohli's nightmare against leggies continued as he was cleaned up by Ish Sodhi in the first ODI against New Zealand at Hamilton. The Indian skipper, who looked solid on 51, fell to a sharp googly by Sodhi after New Zealand elected to field. Notably, his three out of four dismissals this year have been against leg-spinners. Here's more on Kohli's spin conundrum.
Seeing how Adil Rashid bundled out Kohli in the ODIs in 2018, it is safe to admit that Kohli's front-foot gameplay lures a leg-spinner to pull the length back and target his stumps. His initial movement makes him go right across the stumps, amplifying bowlers' variations. Most spinners trap Kohli by giving him the driving length and then surprising him with the wrong one.
The Kohli-Zampa battle took the world by storm in the recently-concluded India versus Australia ODI series last month. Having already fallen thrice to Adam Zampa in 2019, Kohli was yet again dismissed by him in the first two ODIs earlier this year. Zampa is now the leading spinner to have dismissed the Indian captain for the most number of times (5) in ODIs.
James Anderson, Graeme Swann - 8 each Morne Morkel, Nathan Lyon, Tim Southee, Adam Zampa, Ravi Rampaul: 7 each
Kohli's recent ODI scores are, 4, 0, 85, 16, 78, 89, 51. His usually brilliant conversion rate has been dented thrice in four matches by leg-spinners. This is a trend that's caught the eye.
In the 2018 IPL edition, Kohli was dismissed eight times by spinners out of the 14 innings. He averaged a meagre 24.75 against spinners that season. Interestingly, he got out to them only six times in 72 innings from 2013 to 2017. In the latest edition too, the RCB skipper struggled against the likes of Kuldeep Yadav, Piyush Chawla and Rashid Khan.
Virat Kohli would be looking to overcome the challenge posed by Ish Sodhi in the second ODI against the Kiwis. Moreover, India will lock horns with South Africa in a three-match ODI series following the ongoing New Zealand tour. Tabraiz Shamsi could be a potential threat too ahead of the all-important series, as the chinaman looks in bright form against England.