India’s next Test vs Australia begins in Melbourne on December 26. © File Photo/AFP
Virat Kohli’s on-field antics in Australia – especially during the Perth Test – have left the cricketing world divided. While some cricketers have criticised his behaviour, some have backed the Indian captain. And legendary Pakistani fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar has gone to the extent of calling Kohli one of the modern greats of the game and said that critics should “cut him some slack.”
Akhtar took to Twitter to say, “@imVkohli is one of the modern greats of the game. Aggression has been a part & parcel of competitive cricket, specially when you are playing Down Under as long as it stays in limit. Please cut him some slack.”
Virat Kohli’s on-field attitude has been in the spotlight of late. Bollywood actor Naseeruddin Shah recently called him the “world’s worst behaved player” and then Mitchell Johnson slammed his antics during the Perth Test. Speaking up on the issue in an exclusive chat with NDTV, former India fast bowler Zaheer Khan said that Virat Kohli’s much-discussed on-field attitude has played a major role to play in getting him success. “When you talk about Virat Kohli, you talk about his fighting spirit, you talk about his drive, and if that has got him success then he should stick to that,” Khan said. During the recently concluded Perth Test, Kohli was involved in an onfield-banter with rival captain Tim Paine. So much so that the umpire had to intervene into the matter.
Earlier, former Australian pace spearhead Mitchell Johnson had slammed the visiting captain as “disrespectful” and “silly” for his on-field antics. “At the end of the match, you should be able to look each other in the eyes, shake hands and say ‘great contest’,” Johnson wrote in a column for Fox Sports.
India’s next face Australia in the Boxing Day Test. The series is currently level at 1-1.