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New Zealand v India

Virat Kohli could be in trouble after animated send-offs in Christchurch

by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

India skipper Virat Kohli’s animated send-offs during the second day of the Christchurch Test have attracted attention on social media and could well land him in some trouble with the match referee.

On a day when 16 wickets fell at the Hagley Oval, 10 of which belonged to India’s bowlers, a charged-up Kohli’s reactions, particularly at Kane Williamson and Tom Latham’s wickets, caught the eye.

Kohli, who bagged the ICC’s spirit of cricket award in 2019, was particularly animated after Jasprit Bumrah removed Williamson for three. As soon as an edge off his bat settled in keeper Pant’s gloves, Kohli ran off in wild celebration from the slips, punching the air, with some words said in the direction of Williamson.

When Latham shouldered arms to a Shami delivery that hit the stumps, Kohli sprung from the slip cordon, turning towards the crowd and putting a finger on his lips, appearing to mouth “shut the f*** up.”

In January, Ben Stokes was fined 15 per cent of his match fee after he was caught abusing a spectator on camera, during the Wanderers Test between England and South Africa. That particular series was marred by disciplinary breaches, with Kagiso Rabada being suspended for a match after being found guilty of violating article 2.5 of the ICC’s code of conduct, which relates to “using language, actions or gestures which disparage or which could provoke an aggressive reaction from a batter upon his or her dismissal during an international match”.

Kohli also took a sharp, low catch to dismiss Henry Nicholls, as New Zealand slipped from 66-0 to 153-7, and eventually 235 all out.

The 31-year-old has been enduring a torrid time with the bat on the tour, managing just one 50+ score across formats in 11 innings, including scores of 3 and 14 in the Christchurch Test, which followed figures of 2 and 19 in the first game.

However, former India batsman VVS Laxman still lauded the India skipper for maintaining his intensity in the field, despite a string of low scores.

“It was an excellent catch [to dismiss Nicholls]. That’s what you want from your captain. You want your captain to set an example,” VVS Laxman told Star Sports, as quoted by India Today.

“The intensity, his body language was there to be seen. He is not getting affected by the low scores he has had so far on this tour.”.

In September last year, Kohli was reprimanded for ‘inappropriate shoulder contact’ with South Africa’s Beuran Hendricks during a T20I and received a demerit point.

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