5 lively cases of sledging by Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli is as tenacious as they come. There have been Indian legends whose preferred method of response to sledging has been to turn the other cheek verbally and to let their game do the talking.Virat Kohli has not really come under that category. On one hand one can argue that one ought to not engage the opponent in a verbal sparring match while playing the gentleman’s game. There are cases however when the opponent starts with the jabs. Even so one can choose to respond with grace, but Kohli prefers to not take it lying down. It usually helps his game as he uses the aggression to fire him up.
#1 Virat Kohli gives it to the crowd
Cricketers engage in sledging on many levels, giving as good as they get. There is one form of sledging in cricket which is generally one way though, when they are jeered by the crowd. Unlike cricketers who are in the spotlight and can have their words recorded, the crowd has the benefit of anonymity. That can lead to some ugly insults.
Virat Kohli was at the recieving end of such insults on the third morning of the SCG Test. His non verbal response was quite direct and explicit, not the kind which cricketers are prone to. He later said “I agree cricketers dont have to retaliate. What when the crowd says the worst things about your mother and sister. The worst I’ve heard.”
Virat Kohli was fined 50% of his match fees for showing his middle finger to the crowd by the match referee Ranjan Madugalle.
#2 Kohli gets the crowd up against Sohail Khan
Before India faced Pakistan in the World Cup 2015, Sohail Khan took at jab at Virat Kohli, saying he may be a lion but only in his own den.
Later he did clarify saying “Look, Virat Kohli is a top batsman for his country and he has always had my full respect for what he has achieved for India. However, once we are on the field, I forget all that. He has a bat in his hand to score runs for his team and I have a ball in mine to make sure he doesn’t. That’s all what I meant.”
The jab was not forgotten by Kohli. When India faced Pakistan he answered with a century. When Sohail came out to bat, Kohli let him have it by sledging him. He managed to rankle Sohail who responded animatedly. His reaction got a laugh out of Kohli who gestured the crowd to begin chanting and get louder. This infuriated Sohail further. Eventually Misbah Ul Haq had to come and pacify Sohail Khan to keep his head in the game.
#3 Virat Kohli shuts James Faulkner up
Virat Kohli most recently gave a brilliant retort to Australian James Faulkner, which will probably make the latter think twice before engaging Kohli in a verbal duel.
When Faulkner failed to get Kohli run out on a good chance, Kohli responded by asking him why was he “fast asleep.”
Faulkner also tried to bait Kohli into playing risky shots, but Kohli chose a verbal retort instead “You’re wasting your energy. There’s no point, I’ve smashed you enough in my life. Just go and bowl,” said Kohli. Faulkner had no witty reply to that.
Later Kohli tried to take the high road and downplay the exchange.“That banter keeps going on. We are pretty used to it. It is happening on a regular basis in international cricket. The game has become really competitive and people will try to disrupt you in anyway possible," he said.
"I think there have been a lot of smart comments over the years and mine turned out to be a perfectly timed one. I didn’t intend to do that, I just said what came to mind, which was actually not far off from the truth.” he added.
#4 Virat Kohli slams Mitchell Johnson
Virat Kohli had a 262 run partnership with Ajinkya Rahane on the fourth day of a Test series at the MCG against Australia. His stand is also memorable for his response to sledging from Mitchell Johnson.
Johnson caught Kohli off guard and threw the ball at the stumps and it strucj his leg. Kohli felt the hit but stood tall. He walked towards Johnson and had a heated exchange with him. Kohli chose a perfect response for Johnson when he blasted him for a four. He blew three flying kisses at him, which must have surely infuriated him.
Later he said "I respect a few of them but if someone doesn't respect me I've got no reason to respect them. They were calling me a spoilt brat,” he added “I said: ‘Maybe that’s the way I am - I know you guys hate me and I like that.’”
#5 Virat Kohli sledges Brad Haddin
When Kohli was nearly run out in India’s second innings in Australia at MCG, Brad Haddin took the chance to take a dig at Kohli. “It’s all about you. It’s all about you,” said Brad Haddin, while clapping at Kohli.
Kohli wasn’t one to let go. When it was Australia’s turn to bat, Kohli was waiting for Haddin to walk up to the crease. When the batsman reached the crease Kohli was standing nearby with a verbal barrage ready. Kohli was fielding near the batsman and maintained a steady flow of retorts at the latter.
The two continued to jaw away at each other before eventually being separated.