Kolkata: Accept defeat in the true spirit of the game and don’t throw excuses: This mantra seems to have found no takers in the British media which maintaining its age-old tradition of passing the buck, now has accused Indian skipper Virat Kohli of ball tampering in the first Test at Rajkot. Absurd it may read, but that’s the truth. This comes just after South African captain Faf Du Plessis has been found guilty of the same charge.
Kohli may have risen to his all-time of best of number four amongst Test batsmen in the ICC ratings, but, the a section of the British media isn’t amused. Not willing to find loopholes in its team’s performances in the Vishakapatnam Test that Alastair Cook’s men surrendered to Kohli’s spirited boys, The Daily Mail is on a mission to disrepute Kohli.
The Daily Mail report is headlined India captain Virat Kohli caught on camera appearing to shine the ball using saliva from a sweet during first Test with England. “Footage has emerged of India captain Virat Kohli appearing to shine the ball using residue from a sweet during his country’s draw with England in the first Test,” reads a report in The Daily Mail.
The newspaper also reveals that TV cameras caught Kohli, “who finished on 49 not out on the final day in Rajkot, putting his right hand towards his mouth.” “The 28-year-old can be seen rubbing his fingers in his mouth, inside of which is a sweet. He then appears to shine one side of the ball, Kohli has not been charged by the International Cricket Council (ICC), although it is not yet clear whether they aware of the footage,” the paper adds.
But the story doesn’t end here. Former English captain Nasser Hussain isn’t a Kohli fan, at least if his article for The Daily Mail gives any indication. Hussain finds Kohli’s captaincy defensive.
“It’s difficult for a captain to tick every box — and Virat Kohli ticks plenty of them. But, for such a wonderfully attacking player, I’m surprised by how defensive he’s been in the field so far in this series. India may well win this second Test, but some of his decisions on the fourth afternoon, when England’s openers were fighting hard, were strange. Don’t get me wrong. Kohli is still young in captaincy terms, and he will get better. He leads by example and wears his heart on his sleeve. I really enjoy the passion he shows out in the middle,” he writes.
Hussain even calls Kohli naive. “But I’ve found him tactically quite naive. It was odd that when England began their second innings, Kohli began with a slip, a gully and two men on the hook for Haseeb Hameed, who almost never plays the hook shot — despite India having a lead of over 400. On an up-and-down pitch, he had his bowlers operating on one side of the wicket, rather than aiming at the stumps, and he should have had men round the bat early on — not when Alastair Cook and Hameed had been in for 20 or 30 overs,” he elaborates.
Well, the days of late cricket writer Neville Cardus are a past and the British media behaves in the most juvenile way while writing on cricket. The question is: If TV footages expose Kohli, then why isn’t the English team management lodging a complaint with the ICC? Or are English cricket writers taking up the cudgels on the team’s behalf?