When you are representing more than 1.3 billion people in another continent, there is certain code of conduct you need to adhere to. Indian captain Virat Kohli does not think so. His on-field behaviour indicates more towards him being a controversy savvy captain.
Kohli’s emotions beat him
India and South Africa just ended a high-voltage Test series, consisting of 3 matches. The series went down to haywire, resulting in a cutthroat competition for both teams. You could not decide winner of series up until the last session. Emotions are bound to go wayward.
While South African Captain Dean Elgar remained a calm head in pressuring situations, Virat Kohli caved in. In 21st over of final innings of series, Kohli’s outburst shocked the cricketing world.
On Ashwin’s good-length delivery, Dean Elgar was adjudged LBW out by Umpire. Elgar challenged the decision. Hawk-eye showed that ball was not touching wickets; in fact, the ball would have bounced out the wicket if Elgar’s leg had not hit it. Hawk-eye is most trusted technology to track the trajectory of ball.
Kohli burst onto official broadcaster
It left everyone stunned on the field. Even Umpire Marais Erasmus was surprised and said “that’s impossible.” However, Kohli sensed malfeasance in the replay. He went to the stump mic and said, “Focus on your team as well when they shine the ball.. and not just the opposition, trying to catch people all the time,”. Similar remarks were made by K L Rahul and Ravichandran Ashwin as well.
Apparently, it was Kohli’s dig at SuperSport, the official broadcaster. In his statement, Kohli seemed to allege that South African team was shining the ball in some unacceptable manners. He also seemed to refer to Broadcasting team catching Australian players using illegal means to shine the ball in 2018.
Few overs later, India decided to review a not out decision in favor of Elgar. After signaling for review, Kohli did not miss a chance to take jibe at Broadcasters. He said, “Wonder how they’re going to show that.”
Captain under radar
As it always happens, Kohli gave the South African team a chance to criticize him and the Indian team. Lungi Ngidi, South African pacer commented, “Reactions like that show a bit of frustration and sometimes teams capitalise on that. You never want to show so much emotion, but we could see emotions were high. That tells us they are feeling a little bit of pressure.”
Test cricket is considered to be utmost form of the game. You never know, whether the batsman will get dismissed on next ball or he will go to tire your bowlers for 180 over. It’s uncertainty at its best. It’s understandable to get frustrated.
Not a dignified behaviour by Captain
Virat Kohli may be right in his assertion and allegation; that was not a way for Indian captain to react. He is representative of India’s youth in other countries. No matter how stressful situation is, cool and composed behavior pays you better results. MS Dhoni has showed it time and again.
Similar frustrating things had happened to Mitchell Jhonson in 2010; when English fans sledged him to depression. Jhonson came back roaring in 2013 Ashes and thrashed England 5-0 on his own.
Competence will take Kohli forward, while controversies will erase his records
What Kohli did was reminiscent of someone trying to stoke emotions when things are not going his way. There are many ways for a publicly known person to draw attention towards him/her. Competency, cool and composed behavior (Dhoni) and controversies are few of them. Often internationally incompetent cricketers (by statistics) like Andre Nel, S. Sreesanth resorted to controversies to stay relevant in public.
Certainly, Virat Kohli is not incompetent by any historical standards. He is in fact on top of most batting records. His poor form may be the reason for his frustration, but it would have been better if Kohli would answer it with bat. Poor behavior raises questions on ability and Kohli should understand that.