While Rohit Sharma was the hero of the day for India on Day 1 of the second Test, skipper Virat Kohli had a forgettable outing with the bat. He was dismissed for a five-ball duck, bowled through the gap between bat and pad, as he went for an expansive drive.
Despite being clearly bowled, Virat Kohli reacted with disbelief, wondering what had just happened. He even had a chat with batting partner Rohit Sharma to cross-check if he was indeed out. After the umpire confirmed that he was definitely bowled, a dejected Indian captain walked back to the pavilion.
Speaking to ESPN Cricinfo, former India batsman Sanjay Manjrekar explained that Virat Kohli’s incredible self-belief is what made it difficult for him to believe that he could have been outfoxed by Moeen Ali in the manner that he was. Manjrekar elaborated:
“When such things happen, it’s almost like ‘Am I out? How is that possible? Yeah, I missed the ball but am I out?’ There’s such a sturdy layer of confidence. That is something he has to break. Virat Kohli, I thought… a great delivery but not to the pitch of the ball as much as he’d have liked.”
Praising Virat Kohli, Manjrekar further added that his great sense of confidence is of a completely different level. The former batsman further said:
“One of the reasons that he is so great as a batsman is this incredible self-belief. We will never understand a great mind because we’ve never been there so Virat Kohli when he goes to bat has this great sense of confidence that he cannot get out.”
It’s not just the Moeen Ali wicket that is a beauty. It’s the completely baffled look on Kohli’s face.
Reminds me of Gatting’s incomprehension when Shane Warne bowled his ball of the century https://t.co/hijA5RgmVX
— Harry Wallop (@hwallop) February 13, 2021
Manjrekar, however, gave credit to Moeen for outsmarting the Indian captain. The off-spinner tossed one nicely outside the off-stump, enticing Virat Kohli into a drive. On pitching, the ball gripped and turned in. The Indian captain went for the stroke despite being nowhere near the pitch of the ball. The delivery snuck in between bat and pad to clean up Virat Kohli.
Impressed with Moeen’s wicket-taking ball, Manjrekar said it reminded him of Waqar Younis. The cricket expert narrated:
“Waqar Younis used to fox batters with reverse swing. When you look at it again, it’s a great delivery. The angle outside the off stump, then the drift. And that angle is just like how Waqar Younis used to bowl his reverse swing. He used to throw it outside the off stump, inducing the batsmen to play the cover drive. It was a fantastic delivery from Moeen Ali. I love Moeen Ali the off-spinner and more suited for this kind of a pitch that Dom Bess.”
Virat Kohli getting clean bowled by Moeen Ali and not walking and just standing there and wanting it reviewed is one of the funniest things I’ve seen on a cricket field. 😂
— Skippy Johnston 🦘🇦🇺 (@LukeAFoley) February 13, 2021
India recovered from Virat Kohli’s dismissal, courtesy Rohit’s 161, to post an impressive 300 for 6 at stumps on Day 1 of the second Test.