Former Indian opener Virender Sehwag has lashed out England media for accusing Virat Kohli of ball tampering, an incident akin to the Faf du Plessis saga at Hobart a few days back.
The video footage showing Kohli applying saliva on the ball while chewing a mint is a clip from England’s second innings in Rajkot when their openers put on an 180 run stand.
The YouTube video, later blocked by host broadcasters STAR Sports, is still pretty much popular on Facebook and Twitter. The similarities with the video of South African skipper, du Plessis, rubbing saliva on the ball in Hobart cannot be ignored.
While du Plessis was fined 100% of his match fee, Kohli escaped unscathed thanks to International Cricket Council(ICC)'s rule that action cannot be taken against incidents reported 5 days after it has taken place. The sweetness in the mint is believed to aid swing bowling and despite many coming out in support for Faf after his incident, ICC decided to reprimand him.
Sehwag, though, was least pleased with England media's inability to accept failures with grace. He believed that while the visitors have not lodged any complaints, their media has tried to blame Kohli for them being 1-0 down in the series.
“The team that ends on the losing side often tries to raise a few issues,” Sehwag told. “Perhaps the England team hasn’t gone on to do it (raise the issue) but the English media has. I feel one should accept defeats in a graceful manner… We never gave excuses when we lost matches abroad. We used to accept that we didn’t play well when we lost a game", Sehwag was heard telling to Hindustan Times.
Sehwag also joined the wagon supporting Proteas skipper, du Plessis, stating that he has full rights to be aggrieved by ICC's verdict. Like many other former and current players expressed, applying saliva on the ball to keep one side shining is a pretty common practise in cricket like chewing mint or toffees and action against that seems a bad move from ICC.
“So I really don’t know what’s wrong with that. It’s not like someone is applying something else other than saliva,” Sehwag said in an exclusive chat with Hindustan Times.
The rule states that using artificial substance for shining the ball is an offence. But since chewing mint and applying saliva is pretty common on the cricket field, and known to opposition and umpires, it seems irrelevant to reprimand players from doing the same.
Sehwag concluded by stating, "You’re allowed to have toffees, lollies, etc. and you’re also allowed to apply saliva to shine the ball."