Virat Kohli lobbed his helmet up and onto the ground during the second India-England Test, with the lid bouncing along the middle of the pitch after landing.
The India captain’s reaction suggested he was attempting to throw his helmet to wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant, with Kohli seemingly dissatisfied at the gloveman not being able to complete the catch. The helmet then dropped, wide of the pitch at first before bouncing across it. Pant’s path to catching the helmet was impeded by another of India’s fielders.
This isn’t the first time recently that a fielder has raised eyebrows due to their actions on the wicket. Steve Smith came in for significant criticism for scuffing the crease during Australia’s Test series defeat to India, with some viewers seeing this as similar.
Section 41.12 of the ICC’s World Test Championship playing conditions deals with a “Fielder damaging the pitch”.
Clause 41.12.1 states: “It is unfair to cause deliberate or avoidable damage to the pitch. A fielder will be deemed to be causing avoidable damage if either umpire considers that his presence on the pitch is without reasonable cause.”
Given it is unclear if the helmet bouncing across the pitch caused any damage, that Kohli was never actually on the pitch himself, and that he was almost certainly attempting to throw his lid to Pant, it seems unlikely that Kohli falls foul of this.
Watch the strange moment below:
— Stephen Potter (@S55JNP) February 14, 2021