What’s the story?
Despite a quiet start, things have started to heat up between the two camps in the current India-Australia Test series, with honours even at the moment and a lot to fight for in the next two Tests.
While Virat Kohli has been praised for leading his troops with belief, his ultra-aggressive behaviour didn’t find the approval of former Australian keeper Ian Healy, who said that he was losing respect for the Indian skipper.
Also read: Virat Kohli responds to Ian Healy's comments
Former Pakistani pacer Shoaib Akhtar, however, has come out in support of the Indian captain, hitting back at Ian Healy’s claims, calling it a case of ‘pot calling the kettle black’.
In case you didn’t know…
Former Australian wicket-keeper Ian Healy had been harsh in his assessment of Kohli, stating that he had been losing respect for the Indian skipper for the way he had been sledging the Australian players in the series.
He added that the pressure had started to tell on Kohli, and that he should be a lot more respectful of the opposition.
The heart of the matter
While several players have been taking varying sides on the issue, Shoaib Akhtar has come out in support of Kohli, blasting Healy for showing double standards, for the former stumper was himself a chirpy fellow who didn’t fall short to rile the opposition with his own comments during his playing days.
He also added that Healy might actually have shot himself in the foot, for the Indian team benefitted from Kohli’s demeanour, and went on to win the Test after being one-nil down and on the mat till the third innings of the Bengaluru Test.
He had also congratulated the Indian team on winning the Test by a convincing margin after having fallen back in the Pune Test.
Both teams have ample time to regroup and reassess their position in the Test series, while also getting enough break to release the pent up tension that has mounted after an enthralling Test at Bengaluru. The next Test begins at Ranchi on the 16th of March
Although Ian Healy is entitled to his own opinion, calling Kohli’s methods as disrespectful is in direct conflict with Australian team’s own ways. As pointed out by both Kohli and Akhtar, Healy himself doesn’t have a very high moral ground, as is fairly evident in the video Kohli has referred to on Youtube, where Healy is shown disrespecting the umpire’s decision and throwing his bat in the dressing room. Also, a comment from someone like Akhtar isn’t surprising too, for the Pakistan speedster is seen regularly commenting about world cricket from his Twitter handle.