India’s captaincy has changed hands from one legend to the other. It isn’t easy to lead a nation in cricket where the sport is bigger than religion. One match can pick you up from the folds of non-existence and place you in the seat of Gods while one muffed opportunity can strike a telling blow to your aspirations.
This becomes amplified when you are the captain of the team as the responsibilities manifold and the burden is hefty. You have to master the art of keeping your calm in order to steer your team to countless glories. However, a few captains were always against the norms. Let’s say for example, Saurav Ganguly. An aggressive leader inculcated the team with the prowess of looking in your enemy’s eye.
The mantle then passed on to Dhoni after changing hands briefly through Dravid and Kumble. He was the coolest customer, cricket has ever seen.
Then the baton was handed over to our current captain and a relentless run-machine, Virat Kohli.
One of the finest batsnen of the game, Kohli now spearheads the Blue Revolution. However, given King Kohli’s exploits on field, we also need to understand that it isn’t easy for the angry young man to keep his calm always. We will look at five instances where Vitat Kohli got involved in controversies in the international circuit.
1. Showing the middle finger:
Kohli is probably one of the most animated characters on field as his antics include dancing on the field to screaming at oppositions.
However, this was exceptional. It was 2012 in Sydney as India was pitted against Australia. The hosts reigned supreme and bludgeoned India to every corner of the park.
Taking hopes from this incessant battering taken by the Indians, the Australian fans started hurling abuses at players positioned along the boundary. Kohli was fielding in the deep when out of no where, he was spotted in the camera showing a middle finger to the audience.
When inquired about his action, Kohli never bowed down and very clearly stated that he will not tolerate anything hurled at his parents.
This probably was the lighter version of Eric Cantona performing a Kung Fu kick at a Crystal Palace fan.
2. Flagrantly flouting BCCI:
We human beings become a strange species when we are in love. We do crazy things and flout laws and what not. However, being a leader, all of this follows with a unbidden repercussion.
It was an IPL game between Bangalore and Delhi while Kohli was spotted chatting with his flame, Anushka Sharma in the box while rain played a spoilsport.
This drew unreserved flak from the board as its laws very clearly state that a player will not be able to communicate with anyone barring his team members or its management in the course of an ongoing match.
BCCI laxed themselves a bit and let Virat walk away with this miscued act of his with a stringent talking-to.
3. Throwing abuses at a journalist:
On-field judgmental errors from Kohli have seen him losing his wicket or muff a few catches. The one he committed off the field had staggering circumstances that surrounded it.
It was in Perth in the year 2015, when Kohli suddenly went balistic and abused a journalist present in the crowd who was trying to capture the practice sessions of the cricketers.
When pressed about this untoward behaviour of the Indian captain, Kohli cited that the journalist has written a foul-mouthed articled about Anushka and this has led to Kohli losing his calm.
Later on inquiry it was found that the journalist actually had written absolutely nothing of that ilk and Kohli made a grave error of acumen.
The Indian leader however, realising his mistake apologised to the journalist.
4. Virat versus Smith
The war between two of the world’s finest batsmen got wrapped in folds of controversy when Smith opted for unfair means in his stance.
The famous brain fade incident happened here as Smith was repeatedly seeking help from the dressing room to review his decisions which is like a strict no-no as per the DRS regulations.
Kohli cited, ” I pointed that out to the umpire as well that I had seen their players looking upstairs for confirmation.
And that’s why the umpire was at him (Smith). When he turned back, the umpire knew what was going on exactly. We observed that, we told the match referee and the umpire that it’s been happening for the last three days and it has to stop”.
Smith later articulated his disappointment about the incident and claimed that he was suffering from bouts of brain fade.
5. War between Kumble and Kohli:
This was probably one of the darkest phases of Indian cricketing history. One of the best cricketing minds of the nation fell out with the leading batsman of the squad. It was believed that Kohli couldn’t tolerate Kumble’s strict approach and that led to the gulf.
However, this fallout was censured by cricketing greats as they believed that it was not good for Indian cricket.
In fact Sunil Gavaskar quoted, “if any of the players are complaining [about Kumble’s style], I feel those players are the ones who should be left out of the team”.
In order to hold the nation intact, Kumble renounced the job and walked in his own path.
Another noteworthy inclusion in this list could have been Kohli’s ‘Leave India’ remark as the captain, embarking upon the current hyper-nationalism storm charged at a fan to leave the nation just because he voiced his liking for players of other nations. This drew considerable flak too as India has always upheld the greats of the game.