Former India batsman-turned-commentator Sanjay Manjrekar has called captain Virat Kohli the main instigator of verbal clashes in the ongoing Test series against Australia.
Kohli has had numerous run-ins with Australia captain Tim Paine in the second Test in Perth and the two even came close to bumping into each other as tensions escalated.
Kohli has been heard on the stump mic having a go at Paine with the Aussie calling him a ‘big head’. On Monday, Paine even ‘asked’ India opener Murali Vijay if he genuinely likes Kohli as a person.
However, former batsman Manjrekar said it is Kohli who has been the main instigator of the verbal war this series and believes Kohli gets away with a lot because he is a star player.
“That last gesture, Virat Kohli coming in the way of Tim Paine, that was completely uncalled for,” Manjrekar told broadcaster Sony Six. “Actually, what if Kohli was not a such a great player getting all the runs that he does — some of his antics and behaviour on the field would have created quite a bit of stir and got lot more criticism. It’s just that he is such a champion batsman, people are sort of accepting that.”
Manjrekar said Kohli has been responsible for the all-out verbal war between the teams.
“In this Test match, in this series so far, the guy who has been most aggravated on the field on both sides has been the Indian captain. He can get runs despite having this kind of approach to cricket,” Manjrekar added.
“I mentioned Virat Kohli, the brand and that’s why he gets away with a lot of things. Lot of people haven’t talked about his reaction after he was given out [on Sunday]. Any other player – low profile name – I am sure would have got some kind of a warning from the referee.”
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