New Delhi: “You can say that he plays with his heart on his sleeve but this is an extremely exaggerated reaction and you cannot become a role model for youngsters like this” – This was former India opener Gautam Gambhir’s reaction on Indian captain Virat Kohli’s angry rant following the DRS review of his South African counterpart Dean Elgar’s LBW decision on Day 3 of the third Test at Newlands Stadium in Cape Town.
Gambhir minced no words in castigating Kohli for what he called was an “immature act” and “not expected of a player who has led the Test team of his country for a long time”.
“Whatever Virat Kohli has done is in an extremely bad taste. Reacting on the stump mic is an immature act,” the former left-handed batter said at the post-match review on match broadcaster Star Sports.
An agitated Kohli made an expletive-laden outburst which was captured by the stump mic after Elgar was given not out after the third umpire ruled that the ball was going over the stumps following a video review.
“That is not how an international team captain should behave and react, and it is certainly not expected from the captain of the Indian team. Technology is not something which you control. You should have reacted in a similar fashion when there was the caught behind appeal and it was also a 50:50 decision. Dean ELgar did not react like this when Mayank Agarwal looked out to the naked eye,” stated Gambhir.
Adding that such a behaviour is not expected of an international player who is looked upon as a role model by the budding cricketers, Gambhir hoped that Indian coach Rahul Dravid would have a word with Kohli on his vocal outburst.
“You can say that he plays with his heart on his sleeve but this is an extremely exaggerated reaction and you cannot become a role model for youngsters like this. I don’t think any young player would like to see such a reaction and that too from the Indian captain. Whatever the result of the match, whether India win or South Africa, but such an animated reaction is not expected of a player who had captained the country’s Team team for such a long time. I hope Rahul Dravid will speak to him. I am sure Rahul Dravid would have never reacted like this,” he concluded.
Ajit Agarkar, another former Indian all-rounder, too asserted that players should accept the decision given on the field. “As a player one needs to accept the decisions given on the field. One can be disappointed with the decision but the game must go on.”
Indian vice captain KL Rahul and spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, too, made comments against the decision. On field umpire Even Marais Erasmus, who had initially ruled Elgar out LBW to Ashwin, also reacted in disbelief after the review.