When Virat Kohli is on song, there hardly seems to be any way to get him dismissed. A watertight technique, coupled with a versatile array of strokes make him one of the most wanted wickets for bowling line-ups.
On the fourth day of the first Test between India and England, Kohli became a victim of a rare mode of dismissal: getting out hit wicket off the bowling of leg-spinner Adil Rashid.
In the 120th over of India’s innings, Kohli, batting on 40, went deep in his crease and whipped a turning delivery past short midwicket. In the process, however, he went a tad too far back, stepping onto his own stumps. The wicketkeeper, Jonny Bairstow, was quick to spot Kohli’s folly, going for an appeal straightaway and catching the attention of the square leg umpire.
Replays showed that as he swiveled around to pull the delivery, his left foot ended up brushing the leg stump, dislodging one of the bails in the process. A bewildered Kohli couldn’t believe in luck, even as TV umpire Rod Tucker checked the clip and gave the decision in the fielding team’s favour. Kohli became the first Indian captain since 1949 to be out in this fashion.
Interestingly, this isn’t the first time Kohli has trod on the stumps in international cricket. Five years ago, against the same opposition, he got out in the same way during an ODI. Facing Graeme Swann on 107, he tapped a flighted delivery to the leg side, but ending up stepping onto his stumps as he prepared to set off for a run. That time, Craig Kieswetter was sharp behind the wicket, going for an appeal straightaway while no one else noticed.
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He became just the 22nd batsman in Tests, and the first Indian since VVS Laxman in 2002, to be out hit wicket. Laxman was out in the same fashion against the bowling of Mervyn Dillon in Antigua, during India’s tour of the West Indies. The last Indian batsman to get be out hit-wicket on home soil was Shiv Sunder Das at Kolkata, against Australia in 2001.
Kohli became the first player to be out hit wicket against the same opposition in Tests and ODIs. He is also just the second Indian player to be out hit wicket in both Tests and ODIs.
In reply to England’s first innings score of 537, the Indian team reached 411-6 at the end of lunch. A partnership between Ravichandran Ashwin and Wriddhiman Saha helped repair the damage caused by a quick tumble of wickets.
You can watch the video of the dismissal here.