Everyone knows that Indian skipper Virat Kohli’s ‘No Bull***t’ mode is always on whether it is on or off-the-field. Kohli never plays the victim card whenever opposition wants to play it ugly on the field. Australia, who are known for their sledging around the world too could not get the better of Kohli when it came to trash-talking. Whether it is a 150 km per hour delivery or a useless sledge attempting to take his concentration off the game, Kohli always replies with more.
Here are a few ‘sledge-backs’ that Kohli struck back with at Australians till date-
The one with Kohli’s send-off to Steven Smith
Let’s start with Steven Smith only. This incident happened in the first T20I of the three-match series played at Adelaide. Kohli was not happy with Smith’s jibber-jabber when Kohli was batting. Kohli scored 90 runs off 55 balls in the first innings and helped India post a total of 188 in the first innings. Australia too gave a fitting reply and were going at a run-rate of 10 runs per over.
Smith too had settled in and sharing a partnership with Aaron Finch who was scoring freely. Kohli & Co. were trying hard for a breakthrough, Jadeja was bowling his second over on the trot, Smith made a blunder of a good length delivery as he tried to hit it over the covers but Kohli caught hold of it and Australian captain was a goner. Kohli was in high spirits which resulted into a sent-off that was destined to go into history books.
Smith was not happy with the send-off he was given but one should say that the Aussies got the taste of their own medicine and it is bound to happen every time they poke Kohli.
The one where Kohli-Johnson chemistry went wrong?
Every Indian fan, as well as a few Australian players, will agree to the fact that this time around Kohli did not commit did not start the fire. But, it does not mean that he won’t let the flames die. It was in 2014 when left-arm fast bowler Mitchell Johnson was trying to get Kohli out when he was batting 84. He was raging with anger running in hard at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).
The spat started when Johnson picked up the ball in his follow through and threw it back at the stumps, which ended up hitting Kohli in the thighs as he turned when he saw the ball being thrown at him. Though, Johnson came up to him apologised to Kohli for his recklessness.
The controversy has just started, Kohli edged the last ball for a boundary and came up to Johnson and there was a heated exchange between them. Kohli went on to score a century in that Test as Australians got a knock on their head that they should not mess with Kohli. But, as expected the Aussies did not learn.
The one where Kohli had a finger for Australian crowd!
In 2012 a young Virat Kohli went on a tour under MS Dhoni. But, this time around it was not the players but the cruel crowd of the Sydney Cricket Ground who tried to mess with Kohli. After a few unreasonable chants from an overexcited Sydney crowd, Kohli could not control his anger and let his gesture do the talking. He showed his middle finger to the crowd which attracted controversy.
Former players did not come in aid of Kohli for his non-responsible behaviour this time but listening to Kohli’s side of the story one may deem that his outburst was justified in a way. Kohli revealed, “I agree cricketers don’t have to retaliate. what (sic) when the crowd says the worst things about your mother and sister. the worst I’ve heard”.
The one where Kohli condemned Steven Smith’s “Dressing Room Review System”
Kohli has been making a lot of making mistakes while using Decision Review System (DRS). But that is not what made Kohli angry. Once again it was Steven Smith who made Kohli’s blood boil. On an action-packed Day 4 of the second Test at Bengaluru. While chasing 188, Australia were on 74 for 3 when Umesh Yadav trapped Smith in front of stumps with a little help from the pitch.
Smith took a customary walk towards his partner Peter Handscomb whether to opt for DRS or not. Again, that is not what made Kohli angry, what made him angry was Handscomb signalling towards Australia’s support staff asking them for help whether to tale DRS or not, that caught the eyes of Kohli as he furiously ran towards Smith, Cheteshwar Pujara too followed blocking Smith’s view.
Thankfully, Umpire Nigel Llong came to the rescue as he sent Smith back to the pavilion straightaway for cheating and asking for help from his support staff whether to opt for DRS or not. At that time Umpire Llong calmed down Kohli but the spat continued off-field as Kohli commented on the ‘brain fade’ incident, he said, “I would never to that on the field”.
The one with Kohli’s smashing comment on James Faulkner
This one is just a year old during the ODI series at Australia which India lost by 1-4. Though there were a lot of talking points from the series but this one topped the charts. Kohli was batting on 73 in the third ODI and Faulkner was bowling. Out of the blue, Faulkner had a few words to say to Kohli when he took a single.
Kohli had a firm reply to Faulkner’s comment as he dismissed him right away. He said,”You’re wasting your energy. There’s no point. I’ve smashed you enough in my life. Just go and bowl”. India lost the game as Glenn Maxwell played a magical inning to take Australia home but Faulkner sure learned a lesson.
Before touring India for a four-match Test series, it seemed like Australia got back to their senses as Maxwell, David Warner and Steven Smith said that they would not be sledging Indian players, especially Kohli. But, it was just a pre-series comment as the Aussies continued their sledging practices in the Test series as well.
Not just sledging but they stepped it up a notch and starting cheating on-the-field in plain sight. The incident which will be famous by the term ‘brain fade’ or ‘Dressing Room Review System’.