Virat Kohli’s name has helped fill many column inches in the aftermath of the second test between India and England. He was out for a 5 ball duck in the first innings, bowled by a peach of a ball by Moeen Ali, his face was an absolute picture of shock as the ball spun round him to hit the stumps. That, was no issue for me, he was surprised and perhaps wondered if Ben Foakes might have hit the stumps. Moeen played under Kohli’s captaincy at Royal Challengers Bangalore up until this season, I imagine they’ll be great friends. He was trapped LBW by Moeen in the second innings but had 62 to his name. Nothing of concern there.

India v Pakistan 2019 World Cup

England had some dubious decisions courtesy of the third umpire and Joe Root did look perturbed a couple of times, happily the batsman concerned was out not long after the poor decision a couple of balls later in both instances. Kohli had come to the attention of the umpires after throwing his helmet onto the pitch after a catch had been put down in England’s first innings too.

But it was when Root was batting in the second innings of a match that India were cruising to victory in, that Kohli really let himself down. Rishabh Pant went up for a catch, it then took Kohli and his team virtually the full time allowed to appeal for the review. That review showed no bat involved so no catch, the review then switched the review to LBW. Bearing in mind the umpire had given Root not out. Root looked plumb it has to be said, but DRS and not the third umpire this time, said Umpire’s Call. Kohli was furious and approached the umpire in an aggressive manner, getting very close to him. I believe the anger continued even once the game was won.

I want to explain how the demerit system works in the game, as so many headlines seem to come from those who don’t know. For example the Daily Mail – Virat Kohli faces a BAN following his angry exchange with umpire Nitin Menon during second Test… as Michael Vaughan hits out at India captain by insisting he can’t be ‘intimidating’ authority figures No one would receive a ban for what Virat Kohli did, but they would receive a demerit point as Tim Paine did in the recent series between Australia and India.

So, a look at how the system works, recent incidents and Virat Kohli’s record-

Level of Offence Demerit Points Suspension
23-4Up to 1 Test or 2 ODI’s/T20″s
47-82 Tests or 4 ODI’s/T20’s

Demerit point tally up over a 24 month period, therefore ensuring repeat offenders are punished. In most cases the on field umpire reports the offence to the match referee who then decides on the number of demerit points, should the player and team contest, a hearing is held. A look at the most recent offences –

Name/DateOffence Level/Demerit Points
Tim Paine – 9/1/2021Following an unsuccessful DRS Review Paine used inappropriate language in dissent at the umpire’s decision 1/1
Kyle Jamieson –
Jamieson, after fielding the ball on his follow-through, threw it in the direction of Faheem Ashraf at high speed when the batsman was away from the stumps within the popping crease and not intending to take a run 1/1
Daryl Mitchell – 6/12/2020Mitchell used inappropriate and audible language as batsman Holder was running between the wickets 1/1
Mamoon Latiff – 30/8/2020Latif repeatedly advanced towards the batsman, shouting and swearing 2/1
Stuart Broad 8/8/2020Broad directed and inappropriate word at Yasir Shah after he dismissed him1/1
Broad now has 3
Josh Little
After dismissing Bairstow, Little ran towards him, pointed and used inappropriate language 1/1
Scott McKechnie
Scott went into a prolonged argument with the umpire after being dismissed LBW1/1
Ravi Bishnoi
India U19
Ravi had been spoken to on two occasions by the umpires on the fall of wickets in regard to his actions/gestures towards the outgoing batsman, which could have provoked an aggressive action from the batsman on each occasion 1/2
Bishnoi now has 7
Ravi Bishnoi
India U19
Multiple instances of unnecessary and inappropriate physical contact with opposing players after the conclusion of the match, being conduct which brings the game into disrepute 3/5
Akash Singh
Multiple instances of unnecessary and inappropriate physical contact with opposing players after the conclusion of the match, being conduct which brings the game into disrepute.

3 Bangladesh U19 players also received demerit points after the match with India U19 on 9/2/2020
The 10 most recent instances of Demerit points being issued
One of my favourite photos of the World Cup

And so to Virat Kohli’s recent record – we go back to September 2019

  • 22/9/2019 – South Africa v India – While taking a run Virat made avoidable shoulder contact with bowler Beuran Hendriks – Level 1 – 1 Poi
  • 22/6/2019 – India v Afghanistan – Virat advanced towards umpire Aleen Dar in an aggressive manner for an LBW appeal – Level 1 – 1 Point
  • 15/01/2018 – India v South Africa – Article 2.1.1 which relates to conduct contrary to the spirit of the game – Level 1 – 1 Point

The earliest demerit point falls outside of the 24 months for totting up, but is still showing in the total column. But it’s clear that Virat Kohli is a repeat offender. I’m a big fan of his cricketing ability and loved seeing his animation in the field when India were in England in 2018. He was kind enough to stop for a selfie when I go the opportunity too. But, his behaviour at times really is ‘contrary to the spirit of the game’. Should he walk away from his shenanigans without another point to his name it rally will suggest there is one rule book for Virat Kohli and one for the rest. The man is quite literally one of the biggest ‘things’ in India, revered by millions, it’s interesting to see 2 young Indian players featuring in the table above, following the example of their idol maybe?


  1. Very clear balanced view as ever. Unfortunately Vaughan et al are paid by their ridiculous newspapers to print controversy, so you may find the truth buried somewhere in the content. Unfortunately it’s usually under a thundering headline which is then copied ad nauseam onto social media and so the cycle continues !

    Liked by 1 person

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