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Michael Clarke lashes out at Australian media for equating Virat Kohli with Donald Trump

Former Australian captain backs Kohli to score big and help India win the series in Dharamsala.

Virat Kohli
Kohli had evoked extreme reactions from the Australian media

What’s the story?

Former Australia captain Michael Clarke has jumped to Virat Kohli’s defence after the Australian media equated him with American President Donald Trump. The 35-year old dismissed the comparison as the handiwork of a few disgruntled reporters and even backed the Indian skipper to define the series in Dharamsala.

“Comparing Virat Kohli with Donald Trump - what a load of shit is that. What Virat did, even (Steven) Smith would have. I could just laugh about the Trump thing (comparison). I find it quite funny and am sure Virat will also find it quite funny,” Clarke told India Today.

He elaborated, “Bear in mind, I love Kohli and the Australian public love him. It's just two or three reporters who are trying to tarnish him, but Virat shouldn't be bothered. I always somehow find an Australian in him the way he plays and I absolutely love how he accepts challenges. Virat is tough and if you're number one, then you have got to be tough. That's how champions play. He may come up with a big century and win India the series in Dharamsala.”

The Background

On Tuesday, The Daily Telegraph ran an article comparing Kohli with the controversial Trump. Claiming that the Indian captain has become a ‘law unto himself’, the media outlet alleged that the 28-year old was responsible for ‘fanning the flames’ in the action-packed Ranchi Test.

The heart of the matter

It all started on day one of the third Test when Kohli unfurled a dive to stop a boundary. Instead, he only managed to strain his shoulder and had to leave the field. As Australia brought their first innings to a close, the mystery of the Indian skipper’s injury took centre stage. Amidst conflicting reports, he eventually walked out to bat at his usual position at number four.

However, Glenn Maxwell mocked Kohli’s injury by clutching his shoulder after preventing a boundary on the third day. Things began to escalate when a half-baked image of Smith grabbing his shoulder circulated on social media. Star Sports and VVS Laxman were left red-faced when subsequent analysis revealed that it was actually Peter Handscomb’s unintentional hand on the Australian captain.

Not in any mood to back off, Kohli celebrated David Warner’s wicket on the penultimate day by mockingly grabbing his shoulder. At the end of the drawn encounter, he accused the Australian players of taking potshots at India’s physiotherapist Patrick Farhart. When his turn came, Smith dismissed those allegations.

What’s next?

With everything to play for, the final Test in Dharamsala could witness another high-octane clash between the two teams. The focus will be on Kohli who has had a poor series with the bat so far.

Author’s Take

Trump seems to have evoked the notoriety of the outside world by making grandiose statements and allegations against various quarters. Even though Kohli wears his heart on his sleeve, it makes no sense to equate him with such an eccentric personality. Clarke’s assessment is spot on – the distorted opinion of a few reporters does not necessarily reflect that of the Australian public.

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