Match Report

Virat Kohli vs Tim Southee: A Tale of Two Legends

Tim Southee has dismissed Virat Kohli for the most number of times in ODI cricket.

Dillip Mohanty
Dillip Mohanty

Last Updated: 2023-11-15

Subhayan Dutta

India vs New Zealand, Semi-Final 1, Mumbai, 2023 World Cup

After five weeks of gripping action, the semifinal lineup for ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 is set. The first semifinal at Wankhede Stadium pins hosts India against New Zealand in a replay of the 2019 World Cup semis. Meanwhile, 5-time winners Australia take on South Africa in semifinal 2.  Both semi-finals are going to be intense games with a lot of history behind all four teams. The focus would be first and foremost on the first semifinal to be played between the hosts India and the Blackcaps at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.

Kohli vs Southee - The beginning of a cricketing duel

In a rematch of the previous edition's semifinal, India faced a setback, losing by 18 runs. Some players from both sides retain their spots for the upcoming game, reigniting a 16-year rivalry between competitive mates Virat Kohli and Tim Southee. 

Their first encounter dates back to early 2007 when the Indian Under-19 squad toured New Zealand. In the 2nd Youth Test, Southee dismissed Kohli twice, marking the beginning of a cricketing duel. Fast forward to 2023, Southee has dismissed Kohli 10 times in all formats, including 6 times in ODIs, making him the bowler with the most dismissals of the Indian legend in this format. Both players transitioned seamlessly from junior to senior cricket, eventually leading their teams. Southee became a crucial leader for the Blackcaps' pace attack, while Kohli established himself as a record-breaking batsman.



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At the one-day international level, Southee has bowled to Kohli in 17 innings. The right-handed batter scored 205 runs in 203 balls, striking at more than a run a ball. However, Southee has managed to dismiss Kohli on 6 occasions, averaging 34.2. This is the most number of times Kohli has been dismissed by a bowler in ODI.

Tim Southee and Virat Kohli in ODI.jpegFour of those dismissals occurred when India batted first. Kohli has an impressive record while chasing, boasting a higher batting average and a reputation for successfully finishing games for India. However, it is in the first innings where he may be vulnerable, especially at the beginning or when a gear change is needed. Thrice, Southee dismissed Kohli in the first powerplay, once in the middle overs, and twice in the death overs.


Bat First vs Bat Second

Bat 1st77477418.596.1
Bat 2nd10131126265.5104
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In the most recent five ODIs at the Wankhede Stadium, pacers have dominated, taking 59 of the total 73 wickets. South Africa secured convincing victories against England and Bangladesh in this World Cup. India also celebrated success, defeating Sri Lanka by 302 runs. The seamers played a crucial role, dismantling the Lankan rivals for just 55 in 19.4 overs after the batting order had helped the hosts post 357/8.

The recent numbers indicate that fast bowlers have got decent assistance from the conditions while bowling under the lights. The humidity and coastal breeze have helped the bowlers making the toss an important factor in the match. Southee has played 3 ODIs at this venue but has played a decent amount of T20 games as he was part of the local Mumbai Indians franchise before. 

In ODIs, he has 7 wickets at an economy of 5.73. His last outing here in an ODI was six years ago where he finished with 3/73 and also picked up Virat Kohli after the latter recorded a stellar 31st ODI ton playing in his 200th game of the format for India. 



Full Toss110-100
Half Volley5238152136.8
Good Length85111242.576.6
Back of length4939149125.6
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Kohli's three dismissals against Southee have often come to short or just short-of-a-length deliveries. In their early encounters, Southee got Kohli to mistime a pull shot in Hamilton in 2014 and tempted him to edge outside off stump in a 2010 ODI, establishing the Kiwi bowler's early dominance. Kohli's later dismissals were marked by Southee's well-pitched good length deliveries, showcasing the bowler's variety and control.

Virat Kohli Pull Shot in ODI.jpgKohli’s strong suit against Southee has been the fuller length or the balls coming back in. Also, his strike rate in the death overs against Southee is a mammoth 145.8. He averages 51 against the incoming deliveries striking 102 runs in 75 balls. His strike rate playing the flick shot against Southee is 161.3 and the pull stroke has also yielded runs at a strike rate of 176.5.


In Different Phases of the Game

1 to 10125674318.6775.68
11 to 40101141051114108.57
41 to 5053524217.5145.83
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Looking at the current form before the all-important game, Kohli is the leading run-scorer of the tournament with 594 runs at an average of 99 in 9 innings, including a couple of centuries and 7 fifties—the most by any batter in this World Cup. Southee, however, was a late entrant in the New Zealand playing XI due to an injury and has taken 4 wickets in 3 matches, conceding runs at the rate of 6.8 per over. The semifinal, however, will be a new day, and both players will use their experience to produce a spectacle for fans worldwide with their performances.

Dillip Mohanty
Dillip MohantySports Editor

Dillip has over two decades of experience in creating sports content. As the Sports Editor of SportsBoom, Dillip brings in a wealth of experience and expertise to the role. Dillip has worked with leading sports broadcasters and sports web content portals in Asia. He is an adept storyteller and has a special liking for data stories. He has a keen interest in data analysis and uncovering insights from large datasets. He loves to tell the story with rich and compelling data visualisation.