Virat Kohli received boos from a small section of the crowd at the Adelaide Oval as he came on to bat on the third day of the opening Test against Australia. Former Australia captain came out in support of the Indian skipper and expressed displeasure at seeing the action by the fans. He did add that it would not have ruffled Kohli one bit.
Kohli came on to bat to warm applause on the opening day of the Test and did so again on day three of the first Test, although some members the 30,000-strong crowd on Saturday could be heard booing the divisive Indian batsman. Ponting spoke from experience as someone who was himself booed by a minority of English supporters on a handful of occasions during Australia’s 2009 Ashes tour.
“I don’t like seeing it at all,” Ponting told cricket.com.au after Kohli scored 34 runs in a 104-ball innings before being dismissed by Nathan Lyon just before stumps. “It didn’t worry me as a player when it happened in England a couple times. You’ve almost got to accept it as acknowledgement for what you’ve done in the game. But I’d rather not see that happen at all.”
“It’ll be water off a duck’s back (for Kohli), I’m sure. He’s probably had worse things happen to him on a cricket field, I would have thought, than getting booed by a couple of spectators as he walks on.”
“If anything, it might have steeled him a little bit more. He (was) hardly playing a shot (early in his innings) and he looked like he wanted to really ground the Aussies into the deck.”
Travis Head was asked about the incident and he, too, wasn’t impressed to see the reaction. “He’s a pretty good player and probably doesn’t deserve to be booed but that’s how it is. It’s probably not needed but that’s the crowd,” he said.
When Jasprit Bumrah was asked about the booing, he said that the Indian team likes to ignore such situations. “I don’t think all these things are important to us because for us, what happens in that circle is important. Everything else, we can’t control and it is not in our hands. If they want to, they can do whatever they want. As long as we are doing well, we are happy,” he said.
Ponting, meanwhile, said Travis Head remains “a work-in-progress” as a Test batsman, but supported him to fill a spot in Australia’s top six on next year’s Ashes tour. Playing just his third Test and first in Australia, Head top-scored with 72 in Australia’s innings of 235. This brought the hosts to within 15 runs of India’s first innings total.
“I’m really impressed with him as a player and a person,” Ponting, who has worked with Head as an assistant coach in Australia’s limited-overs teams in recent years, said. “He’s very a level-headed young man, he’s very calm and pretty confident in his own game. He’s obviously still a work in progress. There’s not too many Australian batsmen at the moment who are the absolute finished product.”
“If you look at the depth of batting in Australia, you’d think Travis Head’s name will be right at the top of the list (for the Ashes), specially with what we’ve seen in the last couple of games. And he’ll keep getting better, keep improving and learning about himself and what he has to do to have success at the top level. But from what I’ve seen so far, I’ve been pretty impressed with him.”