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3 instances of Virat Kohli sledging batters in Test cricket

Virat Kohli has seldom shied away from having a go at the opposition.
Virat Kohli has seldom shied away from having a go at the opposition.

Only a few players wear their hearts on their sleeve as much as Virat Kohli does. The star Indian batter has very rarely shied away from expressing his emotions on the field, making him a cameraperson's delight in the process.

Of course, it has attracted contrasting opinions over time, with a large section of fans attracted to the same passion and others believing that he ought to tone it down.

None of it matters for Kohli, though, as long as his antics don't cross the line.

Virat Kohli just LOVES it 🤣 https://t.co/MbWSrfgU9s

The former Indian captain has always been the first to stand up for his teammates too, should they be on the receiving end of a sledge. Leading by example, Kohli's 'no nonsense' approach has defined the way he plays his cricket.

On that note, we look at three instances involving Kohli sledging a opposition batter.


#1 Kohli engages in banter with Tim Paine - Perth, 2018

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The Perth Test of the 2018-19 Border-Gavaskar Trophy series saw then-skipper Kohli engage in some banter with his opposite number Tim Paine. India went into the Test with a 1-0 series lead, but conceded a first-innings lead in Perth.

A spurt of regular wickets brought Aussie skipper Paine to the crease in the second innings on Day 3. Standing in the slip cordon, Kohli engaged in some banter, openly suggesting to teammate Murali Vijay that if Paine were to squander the initiative, India would go 2-0 up in the series.

He was heard saying:

"If he messes it up Vijay, it's 2-0."

Paine instantly responded by saying:

"You've got to bat first, big head."

While this was followed by Kohli letting out a roar of laughter, things heated up the following day with both captains having a regular go at each other. It took the umpires to intervene and request that they get on with the game thereafter.

Australia won the Perth Test by 146 runs, but the visitors would go on to clinch their first series win Down Under by a 2-1 margin.


#2 Kohli clashes with Jonny Bairstow - Edgbaston, 2022

It's tense out there between Virat Kohli and Jonny Bairstow 😳#ENGvIND https://t.co/3lIZjERvDW

The ongoing Edgbaston Test between England and India has been a fascinating one for cricketing reasons and otherwise. While the standard of cricket has been top-notch, the frequent verbal exchange between Kohli and Jonny Bairstow has caught the attention of all and sundry.

A rain interruption on Day 2 forced the players off the field and Kohli was seen putting an arm over Bairstow's shoulder and having what seemed like a very friendly chat. The following day saw something far from it, as the former Indian skipper had plenty to say to the in-form England batter, who was struggling for timing at that point.

Bairstow didn't hold back either but having swung for the mountains and missed off the next delivery, it sent Kohli into splits in the slip cordon. The Yorkshireman went on to launch a stunning counter-attack though and raised his 11th Test century in the process.


#3 Virat Kohli mocks Joe Root - Edgbaston, 2018

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Turn the clock back by four years and hello, we're at Edgbaston yet again! The opening day of the five-match Test series between England and India saw the hosts dominate proceedings, thanks to then-skipper Joe Root steadying the ship.

A moment of brilliance followed soon after though, as his opposite number Kohli inflicted a direct hit to send Root back to the pavilion. What followed was not a direct sledge, but Kohli mocked Root with a 'bat drop' celebration.

For context, Root's twin hundreds helped England seal the one-day series that preceded the Tests and he celebrated it with a 'bat drop'. Kohli didn't shy away from having a moment of his own soon after!


Also Read: 3 best celebrations by Rahul Dravid

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Edited by Samya Majumdar
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