Kohli’s Kryptonite: The Bowlers Who Have Conquered Him Most in the IPL

As the IPL continues to evolve, it will be interesting to see if new bowlers emerge to challenge Kohli’s reign, or if these established names continue to be his biggest threats on the field. Will these bowlers continue to unravel the enigma that is Virat Kohli, or will the batting maestro find ways to conquer his kryptonite? Only time will tell.

Virat Kohli, the name synonymous with batting brilliance in the IPL, has struck fear into the hearts of bowlers for years. But even the greatest have their weaknesses, and for Kohli, a few bowlers have emerged as his Achilles’ heel in the high-octane T20 league.

Sandeep Sharma

Topping the list is the swing specialist Sandeep Sharma. With the potent combination of pace and swing, Sharma has dismissed Kohli a staggering seven times throughout his IPL career. Five of these dismissals came during Sharma’s stint with the Punjab Kings, where he rattled Kohli’s composure on multiple occasions. The remaining two dismissals came after Sharma’s move to the Sunrisers Hyderabad, proving his ability to trouble Kohli across franchises.

Dhawal Kulkarni

Following closely behind is Dhawal Kulkarni, the Mumbai Indians pacer. While not as prolific as Sharma, Kulkarni has managed to dismiss Kohli four times in the IPL. One of these dismissals came in the crucial 2016 playoff match, where Kohli’s duck against Kulkarni proved extremely costly for Royal Challengers Bangalore. Kulkarni has also dismissed Kohli while playing for the Rajasthan Royals, showcasing his ability to trouble the star batsman irrespective of the team he represents.

Ashish Nehra

Following closely behind is Ashish Nehra, the former Indian left-arm pacer with a knack for the big occasion. Nehra, with his deceptive slower balls and variations in pace, has managed to dismiss Kohli six times in the IPL. These dismissals were often characterized by Nehra’s ability to cramp Kohli for space, forcing him into uncomfortable strokes. One such dismissal came in a tense IPL encounter where Nehra dismissed Kohli with a slower ball that deceived the batsman completely.

Mohammed Shami

Another bowler who has found success against Kohli is Mohammed Shami, India’s express fast bowler. While Shami hasn’t dismissed Kohli as frequently as Sharma or Nehra (five dismissals), his dismissals have often come at crucial junctures. Shami’s raw pace and ability to exploit early swing have troubled Kohli on a few occasions. A notable dismissal came in a high-pressure playoff match, where Shami dismissed Kohli with a searing yorker that left the batsman with no room to maneuver.

Jasprit Bumrah


Jasprit Bumrah another express fast bowler known for his accuracy and yorkers, also features on this list with four dismissals of Kohli. Bumrah’s ability to bowl at a consistent pace and hit the yorker zone at will has posed a challenge for Kohli. One such dismissal came in a close league match where Bumrah sent Kohli back with a pinpoint yorker that crashed into the middle stump.

Other bowlers who have found success against Kohli include Yuzvendra Chahal (Royal Challengers Bangalore teammate!), Umesh Yadav, and Mitchell Starc. While they haven’t dismissed Kohli as frequently as Sharma or Kulkarni, their dismissals have often come at crucial junctures, highlighting Kohli’s vulnerability against specific bowling styles or matchups.

This story isn’t meant to diminish Kohli’s incredible batting prowess. The fact that these bowlers have just a handful of dismissals against him in a career spanning hundreds of IPL matches is a testament to his consistency and dominance. However, it does offer a fascinating glimpse into the strategies bowlers employ to tackle this batting giant. As the IPL continues to evolve, it will be interesting to see if new bowlers emerge to challenge Kohli’s reign, or if these established names continue to be his biggest threats on the field.

It’s important to remember that these dismissals, though significant, are a mere blip on Kohli’s phenomenal IPL career. The fact that these bowlers have just a handful of dismissals against him in a career spanning hundreds of matches is a testament to his consistency and dominance. However, this list offers a fascinating glimpse into the strategies bowlers employ to tackle this batting giant. They target his vulnerabilities – his chase for swinging deliveries, his struggle against slower balls, or his occasional discomfort against raw pace.

As the IPL continues to evolve, it will be interesting to see if new bowlers emerge to challenge Kohli’s reign, or if these established names continue to be his biggest threats on the field. Will these bowlers continue to unravel the enigma that is Virat Kohli, or will the batting maestro find ways to conquer his kryptonite? Only time will tell.

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