It’s the question so many have tried to answer, usually without success: how do you stop Virat Kohli? The bad news for Australia in its upcoming Test series against India is it’s not easy. Kohli is a run-scoring machine who averages 64.86 in the past four years. The good news, however, is that his performances away from home have left behind some subtle clues that can increase Australia’s chances of success.
Like many great batsmen before him, Kohli typically goes on to make big scores once he’s faced a few overs and made it to 20. That leaves Australia’s bowlers one option: get him early. In 59 innings outside of Asia, Kohli has most commonly lost his wicket before making it past 10 runs (17 times). That number increases to 23 when looking at his dismissals for 20 runs or less.
His 16 innings in Australia follow the same trend, having been dismissed for 20 or less almost a third of the time (5). When Kohli has made it past 20 in Australia, he has scored two fifties and five centuries. The Australians will need to be switched on and executing their plans from ball one to limit Kohli’s impact.