Kolkata: South African skipper Faf du Plessis has silenced his critics (read the Australian media) with a hundred at the Adelaide Test. Will his Indian counterpart Virat Kohli get his revenge with the English media with a big one at Mohali? Both captains have been in the midst of ball-tampering controversies of late. While, the Protean skipper was fined 100 per cent of his match fees, the International Cricket Council (ICC) has not taken any action against Kohli because of rules.
Now, the aggression in Kohli, whom a British tabloid accused of ball tampering (in the first Test against England at Rajkot) has been egged on by two legends of the game, Anil Kumble and Virender Sehwag. Both Kumble and Sehwag have lashed out the English media for framing the Indian Test captain. India’s coach Kumble, who was the captain of the team during the Monkey gate Test series Down Under in 2008, said to media persons at Mohali, “First of all, I don’t want to react to any report that is there in the media. As far as I am concerned, neither the umpire nor the match referee ever came to us talking about it. We would certainly not like to give too much wind to the story.”
Sehwag, who too was part of the Indian team in the (in) famous trip to Australia slammed the tabloid for heaping false allegations on Kohli. Sehwag who too hails from Delhi like Kohli, told Hindustan Times, “Perhaps the England team hasn’t gone on to do it (raise the issue), but the English media has. I feel one should accept defeats in a graceful manner… We never gave excuses when we lost matches abroad. We used to accept that we didn’t play well when we lost a game.”
Kumble took one step forward and defended his entire team. “There is nothing to worry about. People can allege and write whatever they want in the media. As far as we are concerned, none of our players were a part of such activity.” Both Kumble and Sehwag also showed their frustration at the way the du Plessis episode was blown out of all proportions.
“South Africa has played exceptional cricket to beat Australia 2-0 and for Faf du Plessis to be told that ball tampering, it is very silly. It’s making a mountain out of a molehill,” Kumble said. Sehwag refuses to acknowledge that the South African captain could resort to ball tampering. “Faf shouldn’t be bothered about this as he did nothing wrong. You’re allowed to have toffees, lollies, etc. and you’re also allowed to apply saliva to shine the ball. So I really don’t know what’s wrong with that. It’s not like someone is applying something else other than saliva,” he told HT.
The inconsequential Adelaide Test has got life thanks to du Plessis. The Mohali Test will be keenly followed too. How Kohli handles this sudden adversity will be worth a watch.
(With inputs from PTI)