Former Australia skipper Steve Waugh questioned if Virat Kohli was playing the game in the right spirit by getting the spectators to cheer vociferously while Indian bowlers were running in to bowl at Australian batsmen during the current four-match Test series.
In Waugh’s opinion, the Indian skipper was treading a fine line by raising his arms and gesturing and getting the partisan crowd involved even while the bowler was in his run up. Waugh’s comments come a day after Kohli implied that Australian captain Steve Smith had cheated when he looked towards his dressing room—not allowed according to rules—for inputs on whether he should review the LBW decision against him.
“That is Virat Kohli and that is what you guys love about him (aggression) but there is a fine line between revving the crowd up when the bowler is running in. I don’t mind him revving the crowd up in between balls but not when the bowler is running in. There are a couple of issues from both teams on how the game is being played and right now it is on the edge,” Waugh said on the sidelines of a promotional event in the city on Wednesday.
When talking about the controversy involving Smith, Waugh said that the Australian captain ‘would have learnt his lesson’ by now. However, Waugh was ready to accept Smith’s version of the events as well, which put his act of looking towards the dressing room a result of a ‘brain fade’.
“I have to go with Steve Smith when he says it was a brain fade and it wasn’t premeditated. So you have to take it at face value. The good thing about the whole incident was that the umpire stepped in and that is where it should have stopped. Smith would have learnt a lesson because obviously you cannot do that and it is not in the spirit of the game. It was an honest mistake,” the former Australian skipper observed.
Kohli at the post-match press conference on Tuesday had debunked Smith’s actions as one-off and said that the Australians had sought help from the dressing room on at least two other occasions when he was batting.
When asked by a journalist if he felt Smith had ‘cheated’, Kohli replied: ‘You said it, I didn’t’. “Those were strong comments from Kohli and while he didn’t say the word he was inferring it. I am not sure Smith would have enjoyed reading that statement. So I think both captains need to have a bit of a chat at some stage and realise that they are going to play tough and it is full on in the middle but there is no point playing out these arguments in the press,” Waugh added.