At a time when the whole of Australia is targeting Virat Kohli for his banter and verbal duels with the Aussie players during the Bengaluru Test, former spinner Brad Hogg has thrown his support behind the under-fire India skipper.
Hogg was a part of the all-conquering Aussie team which was known for their sledging and the chinaman spinner knows that the games of words on the field is absolutely fine as long as it does not culminate into violence.
The second Test was marred by the DRS controversy. Aussie skipper Steve Smith was caught looking towards the dressing room for an opinion on a DRS referral on Day 4 of the match. Furious with his Smith’s behaviour, Kohli blasted his counterpart in a stormy press conference after the match.
The Australia media has heavily criticised the Indian star for his remark but Hogg feels that Australians should leave the matter behind.
“Virat is an exuberant and emotional character who trains so hard at his cricket. He wants it so much and that translates into his behaviour on the field. Australians need to get off their high horse about Kohli and his carry-on — let’s not forget we are well-renowned for our sledging and have been for years,” Hogg wrote in his blog for “The NewDaily” website.
“When Kohli clashed with Smith, I liked it. As long as it isn’t violent or very personal, it adds to the spectacle. Kohli has clearly been expressing himself on the cricket field. But it’s good for the series and it’s good for cricket” he added.
The International Cricket Council did not sanction either of the players for their conduct in Bengaluru and Hogg is pleased with the decision.
“I’m glad no bans were handed out to Kohli, Smith or any of the other players – their behaviour didn’t warrant it. Smith’s decision to look at the dressing room while contemplating using DRS will leave him feeling slightly embarrassed. You’re not allowed to do that and, as a captain, he knows that. I think it showed the pressure of the moment and the series. But it was dealt with then and there, by the umpire, who gave him his marching orders,” the 46-year-old said.
Speaking about how times have changed now, the veteran spinner said: “For so long, Indians were the quiet guys who would just take it but in the past 20 years, things have changed. They give it back now — and they even initiate the sledging at times. But that’s cricket.”
The left-arm spinner, who plies his trade for Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League, further said that Glenn Maxwell should be picked in the playing eleven instead of Marcus Stoinis who has replaced the injured Mitchell Marsh in the squad.
“Marcus Stoinis has been called into the squad but the selectors need the courage to play Glenn Maxwell. He is the perfect batsman to come in at number six, given he can turn a match very quickly. He bats with flair and offers another spin option with the ball,” said Hogg.