New Delhi: Virat Kohli’s outburst against a controversial DRS decision during the third Test against South Africa was “immature” and with such an “exaggerated” response, the Indian skipper will never be a role model for young people, believes former opener Gautam Gambhir.
Kohli, his deputy KL Rahul and off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin made some unsavory comments about referees and technology in stump microphone after rival skipper Dean Elgar was given a massive postponement over a controversial DRS decision in the last hour on Day 3.
“This is really bad. What Kohli did, go near the stump mic and react that way; that’s really immature. You don’t expect this from an international captain, from an Indian captain,” Gambhir told Star Sports .
Gambhir pointed out that Mayank Agarwal had also been given a reprieve during the first test in Centurion, but it did not provoke a similar reaction from the South African skipper.
“Then you have no control over the technology. Then you reacted the same way when there was catch-behind appeal on the leg side, and Dean Elgar didn’t react that way either. During that call from Mayank Agarwal, it looked OUT with the naked eye, but Elgar didn’t react that way,” he said.
In the 21st over, Elgar got LBW from field umpire, Marais Erasmus, when he was hit on the pads by a pitch from Ashwin. However, upon review, the decision was reversed.
Furious at the decision, a smoking Kohli went to the stumps and said: “Focus on your team too when they let the ball shine, not just the opponent. Trying to catch people all the time.”
Rahul and Ashwin also expressed similar reactions. It’s all over the country against 11 guys, KL Rahul said, as Ashwin criticized the broadcaster: “You should find better ways to win, SuperSport.”
“Whatever you say things like he plays with his heart on his sleeve, this reaction was over the top and you can’t be a role model in this way. No budding cricketer would want to see this kind of reaction, especially from the Indian captain,” Gambhir said.
“Regardless of the result in this test match, this is not what you expect from a test captain who has led the team for so long. I hope Rahul Dravid wants to say something to him because the captain Dravid type was that he would never have reacted this way.”
Former South African batter Daryll Cullinan also criticized Kohli for his outburst, saying he got away with such behavior for too long.
“This is the typical Virat’s untouchable; he behaves the way he wants to behave. The rest of the cricketing world just bows to Virat. The powerhouse is India. I hate to say this, but it’s been going on for years,” he said.
“It’s just the big sucker to India and everyone playing for India. They are untouchable, so everyone will laugh about it.”
The 54-year-old, who has scored 4,554 runs in 70 Tests and 3,860 runs in 138 ODIs, thinks Kohli should be reprimanded for his behaviour.
“I like Virat Kohli, I like his cricket, I like the way he plays. But there has to be a line drawn somewhere to say, wait a minute, you have to be severely punished.”
“If anything, it was a mistake. I just can’t believe they can think that way. Virat has gotten away with behavior for too long that is unacceptable on a cricket pitch. But he’s Kohli and I honestly don’t like it .”
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