Then even after Rohit Sharma drove Adil Rashid into the hands of extra cover, Kohli duly helped to administer the necessary - passing 2,000 runs in this format along the way.
Kuldeep after his 3.4 overs has five wickets and has given away just 13 runs.
"He took three wickets in four balls today and deceived us".
Here we predicted a playing XI of the Indian team for the first T20I against England.
These two were unafraid to toss the ball up or experiment with spin, line and length, in a bid to prise out batsmen. Save Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Umesh Yadav - the others have not played a full-fledged series in England and that may be of great hindrance against England who bat deep. Joe Root, a player of touch and timing, is a top order player too and is unsuited to batting down at number six as he did here.
Captain Eoin Morgan mistimed an attempted slog-sweep to his opposite number Virat Kohlit.
And it is in the middle order than England have tended to struggle of late.
Nonetheless, they are expected to face a stiff test against England, who are high on confidence after whitewashing world champions Australia in a five-match ODI series and a one-off T20I to kickoff the English summer in style. He missed 65 matches between his two appearances - an Indian record.
Later, defending 159, England's bowlers were taken to the cleaners by KL Rahul. He scored 70 off 36 balls back then. It was a fine example of setting a platform and kicking on.
England, meanwhile, made a few strategic changes after their poor showing in the tri-series.
Where Yadav had been imperious, England's spinners appeared toothless by comparison with Rashid and Moeen Ali only rarely able to trouble the tourists.
Alex Hales seemed to have left his timing somewhere between Manchester and Birmingham, where last week he clattered Australia for 49 off 24, and was finally put out of his misery by Kuldeep, bowled round his legs for an 18-ball eight.
"I don't think it will be a distraction - the guys are passionate about it, but will be focused on (this) game". All the feedback was that it was a good wicket.
"Looking at the World Cup, we will try a lot of players in the shorter formats", Kohli said. It's something we'll assess.
But once powerplay field restrictions were lifted, and Kuldeep was introduced, the game took a dramatic turn. Buttler, Morgan and Hales were all dismissed attempting big shots at the 23 year-old while there was a general inability to rotate the strike off both spinners which needs to be resolved. They said it is a great setup to be a part of. "It is going to be hard to start [against Kuldeep's googlies]".
"If you focus on one or two of them, say the spinners, it's more than likely it's the seamers who will actually go and get the wickets". You have a clear plan and stick to it.
Tendukar's domination of the Australian maestro was total and India did as they pleased through the series.