In a country where cricket is more religion than sport, it isn’t surprising that incidents on the field elicit passionate response from fans across the world. And fans and experts have certainly come out of the woodwork to throw their weight and support behind Indian skipper Virat Kohli, who has currently been embroiled in controversy.
Kohli has been heavily criticised by the Australian media for sparring with Australian captain Steve Smith in the ongoing Test Series between the two nations. While he has come under the scanner for his aggression on the field, cricketing legends and fans of the sport have come out defending that very behaviour, calling it passion.
Even greats like Sir Vivian Richards have taken to Twitter to laud the embattled sportsman.
Classic test cricket on display. Kohli’s aggression being the icing on the cake. #IndvAus
— Viv Richards (@vivrichards_56) March 7, 2017
Love Virat’s aggression. Imagine if he was a fast bowler ?
— Dale Steyn (@DaleSteyn62) March 7, 2017
T 2471 – Aussi media calls Virat, Donald Trump of sports !! … thank you Aussi media for accepting that he is a winner and the PRESIDENT !! pic.twitter.com/ZOoNtuhtC2
— Amitabh Bachchan (@SrBachchan) March 21, 2017
Great fight back by the Indian side @imVkohli seems to be able to inspire his team to give their all in any situation.
— Kumar Sangakkara (@KumarSanga2) March 7, 2017
The cricketer has also gotten support from former Australian players like Brad Hogg, who wrote in his blog for The NewDaily, “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.”
Even Michael Clarke has spoken out saying that Australians by and large remain fans of Kohli while speaking to Aaj Tak-India Today‘ news channel. He said, “Bear in mind, I love Kohli and the Australian public love him. I always somehow find an Australian in him the way he plays and I absolutely love how he accepts challenges. It’s just two or three reporters who are trying to tarnish him but Virat shouldn’t be bothered.”
Of course, it should be noted that amidst all the hue and cry, one person has resolutely showed up on the field to let his game do the talking — Virat Kohli himself.