Gentleman’s game no more? Kohli behaviour isn’t what cricket needs

Virat Kohli and team mates display inappropriate behaviour on field in Cape Town cricket test

This isn’t cricket! A game known as the gentleman’s game is suddenly becoming not so. It was the game that was put under the scanner, when top-rated players – including the Indian captain Virat Kohli, no less – behaved ungentlemanly at the Cape Town field.

It all happened during the ongoing third Test match between India and South Africa at Cape Town. A leg before wicket decision got overturned after a Decision Review System (DRS) call, and the Indians went crazy.

The Indian skipper Virat Kohli and a bunch of team mates of the likes of Ashwin and Rahul who found that they were not given what the y deserved, went all out to verbally attack the South African broadcaster Supersport.  A visibly flummoxed Indian team lost their nerve after a controversial DRS call aided South Africa team captain Dean Elgar to get his LBW decision overturned.

Shaming cricket

The scenario was a heated one and all the drama unfolded while spinner Ashwin bowled the 21st over of the innings. The delivery twisted and turned back to hit Elgar in front of the stumps. Umpire Marais Erasmus raised his finger, but Elgar wanted to review the decision and called the DRS. Replays finally showed that the ball was to sail over the stumps, and thus the decision was overturned. This however didn’t not go down well with Kohli and his men.

All the ire was channelled against the broadcaster Supersport and Ashwin, irritated with the decision, rushed to the stump mic and screamed: “You should find better ways to win, Supersport!” Kohli joined Ashwin, and went a step further, and yelled at the stump mic, thus: “Focus on your team as well and not just the opposition, trying to catch people all the time.” KL Rahul added: “Whole country playing against XI guys”.

Immature behaviour

Whatever be the reason, the behaviour has exposed the way cricket has changed. Considered to be the most gentlemanly once upon a time, the game has changed with aggression and swearing taking centre stage. When the Indian captain leads in such inappropriate behaviour, it says so much about how Indian cricket has changed too over the years.

Immaturity reigned supreme when Virat Kohli vented his anger at the stump mic, and targeted the broadcaster for the overturning of an LBW decision. This isn’t exactly what it means to lead from the front.

Such behaviour coming from Kohli and team mates at a time when the most perfect gentleman cricketer of all time – Rahul Dravid – is the head coach, adds to the shame. By taking out their extremely inappropriate behaviour, Viral Kohli and team have in fact insulted Dravid too. One expects Rahul Dravid to seek an explanation from Virat Kohli on this incident.

Cricket needs to regain and hold aloft its gentlemanly ways. This is possibly only if the players too stop their immature antics on field and focus on the game. Hope Kohli and company would do that.

Sanjeev Ramachandran

A journalist with 23 years of experience, Sanjeev has worked with reputed media houses such as Business Standard, The Ne More »
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