Why Virat Kohli needs to tone down as the Indian skipper
- Kohli’s gesture both towards the crowd as well as towards the opposition captain was totally uncalled for in the second Test.
Kane Williamson, the New Zealand skipper was on strike during the Kiwis' first innings of the second Test against India. Jasprit Bumrah’s delivery pitched on off stump, took the outside edge of Williamson’s willow and wicket-keeper Rishabh Pant completed the catch. The Indian cricket team had all the right to be excited, and rightly so. They had scalped the wicket of the best batsman of the opposition. But then, Virat Kohli’s gesture was definitely not welcome.
The Indian skipper delivered his trademark Hindi slang (which cannot be mentioned here), as Williamson walked back to the dressing room. The worst thing that can happen to an opposition batsman is to be given a ‘send-off’ when he has been dismissed for a cheap score. And Williamson is one of the nicest cricketers of the modern era.
Also, during the same Test match, the Indian skipper also turned to the New Zealand crowd and asked them to ‘shut up’, in very colourful language.
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Yes, Kohli is extremely passionate about the game. Yes, he wants to win each and every match for his country. Yes, he wants to outperform the opposition. But then, in the second Test he crossed the line. And in the press conference when he was asked whether he was setting the right example on the field, the Indian skipper got irked.
This is how the conversation went between him and the journalist went -
Journalist: Virat, what's your reaction to your behavior on the field, swearing at Williamson when he got out, swearing at the crowd. As an Indian captain, don't you think you should set a better example on the field?
Virat Kohli: What do you think?
Journalist: I asked you the question?
Virat Kohli: I am asking you the answer.
Journalist: You need to set better examples
Virat Kohli: You need to find out exactly what happened and come up with better questions. You can't come here with half questions or half details of what happened. And also, if you want to create controversy, this is not the right place. I had spoken to the match referee. He had no issues with what happened. Thank You.
It was an example of a man who was irritated because of his team’s poor showing on the field. And without any doubt, Kohli’s gesture both towards the crowd as well as towards the opposition captain was totally uncalled for.
Kohli has time and again quoted the legendary Sachin Tendulkar as his inspiration and the reason behind him picking up the sport. Perhaps, he needs to take a leaf out of Tendulkar’s book and let his bat do the talking. While it is understandable that emotions can run high in sports, especially at the international level, it is important for a player to keep check of his emotions.
The Indian team had a bunch of great predecessors who never indulged in any such activities. The likes of Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman and Tendulkar were at the receiving end of verbal abuses from opposition teams, but they never let their guard down. They instead let their bat do all the talking.
Kohli needs to understand that he is leading the country in a sport that the entire nation is mad about. And he clearly needs to tone down as the Indian skipper. This will not only allow him to evolve as a cricketer, but will also make him an ideal role model for people to emulate.
Published 03 Mar 2020, 14:04 IST