Kohli has dominated Pakistan over the years. In 13 ODI matches against Pakistan, Kohli has scored 536 runs at an average of 48, with 2 centuries -183 in the Asia Cup 2012 in Mirpur and 107 in the 2015 WC in Adelaide – and 2 fifties.
How can Pakistan stop Virat Kohli?
Here are the two biggest weaknesses of Virat Kohli that Pakistan can exploit:
Against left-arm fast and fast-medium bowlers: Shaheen threat
This weakness of not just Virat Kohli, but the Indian top-order batters is well-known: left-arm pacers have exploited the fidgety and vulnerabilities of India’s top three in the past. Be it Mitchell Starc, Shaheen Afridi, Mohammed Amir, Trent Boult, Obed McCoy or David Willey, and Reece Ropley. The Indian batters have succumbed to the moving new ball from left-arm pacers.
Despite his success all around the world for the past 15 years, Virat Kohli too remains vulnerable against left-arm fast and fast-medium bowlers early on in his innings; Babar Azam and the Pakistani fans would be hoping that Shaheen Afridi strikes early in the powerplay with the new ball.
Since 2021, Kohli has been dismissed by Starc, Willey, and Topley in ODI cricket. Against left-arm pacers, Kohli has averaged only 29 since 2021.
Against left-arm orthodox: Mohammad Nawaz threat
This weakness of Kohli against the balls turning away from him has grown in recent years, something that the opposition captain and bowlers now know very well. Because Kohli rarely uses the sweep shot, and doesn’t jump down the track enough to disturb the spinner’s length and pace, he’s been tied down too often, even on good surfaces, by leg-spinners and left-arm orthodox spinners.
Since 2021 in ODIs, Kohli has been dismissed 7 times by a left-arm orthodox spinner and averages only 14 against them. Since 2021. He’s been dismissed twice by Keshav Maharaj, Mitchell Satner, and Shakib, and once by Ashton Agar. Leg-spinner Adil Rashid has dismissed him once, while the likes of Zampa and Hasarange have kept his run-scoring rate in check – he didn’t score over a strike rate of 100 against any of these three quality leg-spinners.
Pakistan have leg-spinner Shadab Khan and left-arm orthodox Mohammed Nawaz, both of whom turn the ball away from the right-handed Virat Kohli.