Why Virat Kohli mouthed off Steven Smith after taking his catch
One of the turning points in the first T20I between Australia and India at the Adelaide Oval was the wicket of Steven Smith in the 9th over, after which point the hosts collapsed from 89/1 to being 151 all out. India won the match by 37 runs, taking a 1-0 lead in the 3-match series.
After having looked fluent on a 13-ball 21 and already having hit three boundaries, Smith fell to a very soft dismissal, getting a leading edge off a failed attempt to flick Ravindra Jadeja towards the leg side, lofting an easy catch to Virat Kohli at silly mid-off as a result.
After having pouched the catch, Kohli was seen screaming and gesturing with his hands to Smith, clearly angry about something. Not content mouthing off a few curses, Kohli also complained to captain MS Dhoni about something about Smith’s behaviour, pointing his finger at the departing batsman. Dhoni nodded understandingly and congratulated him on the catch.
Why Kohli was angry with Smith
What Kohli was angry about, and what might have very possibly led to his dismissal, was that Smith was multi-tasking when he got out. Not only was he trying to take his team across India’s score of 188/3, he was also having a chat with Channel 9’s commentary team.
Smith was encouraged by the commentators to give his view on proceedings, and he obliged by describing an Aaron Finch shot. However, the distraction could have proved to be his downfall only two balls later, as he went out to a very untypically careless shot.
It would appear that Kohli had been enraged at the player microphone being used in such a high-profile match, and his gestures with his hand suggests that he was telling off Smith for having agreed to talk to commentators while batting.
Kohli’s message to Smith was clear – this was a cricket game and not a television interview.
The Channel 9 commentators had an awkward silence after the Smith dismissal, which was the only reference made that their chat could have been the reason for the distraction.
Whilst we try to bring the viewer into the contest. We can't forget it is a contest. Smith wasn't comfortable and Kohli knew it.— Nathan Buckley (@ncb_cfc) January 26, 2016
There is, however, another theory circulating that Kohli was angry because Smith had been talking to him during his 55-ball 90* in the first innings. He was too far away from the microphone himself for it to be explicit what he said, but the moment was pure gold in terms of the heart shown by Kohli.