The Indian cricket team are currently staring down the barrel in the second test against Australia at Perth, still requiring 175 runs to win on the last day of the test match, with half their side already back in the pavilion. More than the rivalry on the field, it was Virat Kohli’s on field banter with Australian counterpart Tim Paine that grabbed the headlines on Day 4 of the test match.
The two captains were caught on the TV stump mic exchanging words with each other towards the close of play on Day 3 and were once again spotted locking horns on one another in the morning session during the 71st over of the Australian innings before on field umpire Chris Gaffney had to intervene. Gaffney was caught on the stump mic, trying to remind them that they were skippers, asking them to behave.
Former Indian cricketer and commentator, Sanjay Manjrekar wasn’t at all pleased with Virat Kohli’s behaviour on the field and lashed out at the Indian skipper for his on field spat with Tim Paine. Manjrekar added that his antics on the field would not be accepted this much if not for his extraordinary caliber and achievements both as a batsman as and a captain.
“That last gesture, Virat Kohli coming in the way of Tim Paine, that was completely uncalled for,” Manjrekar said at the lunch break show on SonyLIV. “Actually, what if Kohli was not a such a great player getting all the runs that he does — some of his antics and behaviour on the field would have created quite a bit of stir and got lot more criticism. It’s just that he is such a champion batsman, people are sort of accepting that,” Manjrekar added.
Manjrekar also remarked that it was the visitors who have been the aggressors in the test series so far.
“In this Test match, in this series so far, the guy who has been most aggravated on the field on both sides has been the Indian captain. He can get runs despite having this kind of approach to cricket,” he said.
Manjrekar also mentioned that the Indian skipper could get away with such behaviour on the field only because of his brand name.
“For example, I mentioned Virat Kohli, the brand and that’s why he gets away with a lot of things. Lot of people haven’t talked about his reaction after he was given out [on Sunday]. Any other player – low profile name – I am sure would have got some kind of a warning from the referee,” Manjrekar suggested.
Manjrekar also pointed out to Kohli’s celebration after having reaching a hundred and remarked that runs could be scored in different ways, just as Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar had shown over the years.
“I think, runs can be got in different ways. Rahul Dravid has shown it. Sachin Tendulkar has shown it. I love the way he bats but lot of the things he does, apart from his batting, something I am not a big fan of. The celebration after he got a hundred, with the bat and the bat does the talking, that was totally unnecessary. Who is questioning Virat Kohli’s batsmanship that he has to show that the bat is doing all the talking,” Manjrekar concluded.