Virat Kohli is a powerful figure in Indian cricket without a shade of doubt. From team selection to appointment of coaches and other management decisions, the skipper is believed to play a key role, even if not interfering publically.
At Christchurch, as he reviewed the on-field umpiring decision that went against him, one couldn’t help but wonder if his power has transcended acceptable levels. Tim Southee befuddled him with an outswinger that didn't swing as much and Kohli played all-around it to be trapped in front. The umpire had raised his fingers after Southee's assured appeal. Kohli seemed uncertain about reviewing but Pujara apparently did not seem to be or did not want to be sending back his skipper. The review was signalled and it showed that the ball pitched right, the impact was in line and that the ball was hitting the stumps resulting in India losing their review and Kohli losing his wicket.
As it turns out, this is the 12th unsuccessful review Virat Kohli has taken while batting and being adjudged out. He has taken a total of 14 reviews with just two calls being overturned so far.
Virat Kohli DRS reviews (as batsman) in Tests since 2016— Deepu Narayanan (@deeputalks) February 29, 2020
Nine stuck down
Three umpire's calls
Last successful review: vs SL, Kolkata, 2017/18 (Umpire: Joel Wilson)#NZvIND
12 instances of Kohli reviewing wrong in Tests
Aus in Bengaluru - lbw Lyon
SL in Delhi — lbw Sandakan
SA in Cape Town — lbw Philander
SA at Centurion — lbw Ngidi
ENG at Edgbaston—lbw Stokes
ENG at Lord’s—c Pope b Broad
ENG at Trent Bridge— lbw Woakes
ENG at Southampton —c Cook b Ali
WI at Hyderabad—lbw Holder
SA at Ranchi—lbw Nortje
BAN at Indore - lbw Abu Jayed
NZ at Christchurch - lbw Southee
The last time when Virat Kohli successfully used DRS to overturn a decision against him as a batsman was in Kolkata against Sri Lanka in 2017. Since then Kohli has been unsuccessful in overturning decisions against him on eleven successive occasions in Tests.
For a captain at least, that’s a horrible record. Only three of those (Trent Bridge, Hyderabad and Ranchi) were umpire’s call which means that on the remaining nine occasions, his decision to call upon DRS cost India a review.
Fans and analysts among others questioned Kohli’s poor decision making on social media.
Cricket is a team sport. But not for Virat Kohli. Clearly put himself ahead of the team, yet again.— Aditya (@forwardshortleg) February 29, 2020
2/13 (15%) successful reviews against LBW decisions in tests.
7 more wickets left, last review and wasting it on such a straightforward LBW is unforgivable. #NZvInd pic.twitter.com/gG2dteK60Q
Not sure what VVS is going on about. Ravi Shastri cannot address Kohli's approach to reviews. And he won't too.— Alagappan V (@IndianMourinho) February 29, 2020
That's why he is there as the coach.
But it also raises another pertinent question. Are the non-striker’s, often the decision makers when it comes to reviewing, scared to tell Virat Kohli that he cannot take a review? If in three years, Kohli has used 12 reviews in vain, it also speaks volumes about the non-strikers who are either equally poor in spotting that the review would be in vain or hesitate to tell their skipper that the review would be wasted.
Feature image courtesy: AFP/ Peter Parks