India captain Virat Kohli has been branded ‘immature’ and guilty of behaviour unbecoming an Indian cricket captain after an incredible meltdown in South Africa while Michael Vaughan says he should face a potential suspension.
Kohli and his teammates went ballistic on Friday AEDT after a DRS review went against them in controversial fashion in the third Test against South Africa.
Kohli yelled into the stump microphone then stamped the ground and declared the decision to reprieve Dean Elgar, initially given out LBW was a ‘f***ing joke.’
Elgar was given out after a ball struck his pad below the knee roll – only for DRS to suggest the ball was clearing the bails.
The umpire Marais Erasmus was nonplussed, exclaiming “that’s impossible”.
The incident happened in the 21st over of the final innings of the match, with South Africa on 1-61, chasing 212 to win the series when Ravichandran Ashwin hit Elgar on the pads. The hosts finished at 2-101, needing 111 to win on day four and take a 2-1 lead in the series. Elgar was later dismissed for 30, ironically after a DRS reversal.
Dean Elgar survives ????
Initially given out, he reviewed it, and the decision was overturned. Big moment in the match and the series????
— SuperSport ???? (@SuperSportTV) January 13, 2022
Kohli walked up to the stumps and addressed broadcasters SuperSport on the stump microphones.
“Focus on your team while they shine the ball. Not just the opposition,” Kohli said.
“Trying to catch the opposition all the time.”
It appeared to be a reference to Australia’s Sandpaper scandal in 2018 when SuperSport’s cameras caught Cameron Bancroft tampering with the ball during the Test at Newlands.
Indian vice-captain KL Rahul and spinner Ravi Ashwin also appeared to accuse SuperSport of influencing the ball-tracking device.
Rahul said: “The whole country is playing against 11 guys.”
Ashwin, the denied bowler, added: “You should find better ways to win, SuperSport.”
Kohli’s antics drew condemnation, including from Gautam Gambhir, an ex Indian cricketer turned politician.
“Kohli is very immature. It’s worst for an Indian captain to say like this in stumps. By doing this you will never be an idol to youngsters.”
Former England captain Michael Vaughan, speaking on Fox Cricket later Friday, said: “That’s disgraceful from the Indians. Decisions go with you, they go against you, that didn’t go the way they feel it should have gone.
“Virat Kohli’s a legend of the game but that’s not the way to act in a game of Test match cricket.”
“The ICC have to stamp this down. They have to stamp down on the Indian side. You can’t get away with talking down the stump mic.
“It’s so important the ICC step in. You can’t act like that whether you’re frustrated or not. When you act like that as a captain and a leader of our game the ICC have to step in. He needs to be fined, he needs to potentially be suspended. You can’t be acting like that as an international captain.”
Shane Warne expressed sympathy for India.
“That’s going to smash half way up middle, there’s no way that’s going over the top that far,” Warne said.
“I’m not sure that could be happening down a stump mic but sometimes frustration overload. You get so frustrated. I wonder if that’s happened three or four times in the series and that’s enough now we can’t have it any more.
“It’s not a good look for the game, that’s for sure.”
Paras Mhambrey, India’s bowling coach, said in his press conference: “We saw it, you saw it. I’ll leave that for the match referee to have a look at it. There’s nothing I can comment on it now. We’ve seen it all, just want to move on with the game now.
“Every individual out here is trying his best. Sometimes in a moment like this, people do say certain things. It’s a game. I think it’s fair we just move on. Everyone is trying their best. Emotions do come into play sometimes.”
“India was desperate to get the wicket and the emotion overflowed after that. The ball pitched in line and bounced and Elgar got a good stride forward. With that stride, it was going to be close,” said former South African star Shaun Pollock.
“Indians went over the top. Hawk-eye is something you rely on for decision making. It’s an independent body. They do their level best with everything they have got. They have got their own cameras. I can understand the disappointment because they wanted the wicket but I think they went over the top a little bit.
“Hawk eye, it’s scientific. They got each little point that they plot. And that’s how they work out where it goes. That’s a lot more scientific than any of us. We rely on them to make the decision and that’s what they have done.”
Sunil Gavaskar said: “Because it hit Elgar on the knee roll, I thought at best it would if it was not hitting the top of middle stump then it would clip the top and that would mean umpires call and that was out.
“Yes he was forward but it hit him on the knee roll. On the knee roll, for someone who is not that tall, 9 times out of 10, even on South African pitches, the ball would hit the stumps.”