Former Australia wicketkeeper Ian Healy has teed off at Virat Kohli, saying the Indian skipper’s behaviour in Bangalore on Sunday was “unacceptable” and he needs to show more respect on the field.
Kohli targeted Australia’s batsmen with verbals throughout a tense second day of the second Test.
Matt Renshaw laughed off taunts about him needing to retire hurt because of a stomach bug in Pune, but some of Kohli’s chat was far more intense and aggressive.
He rarely stopped to draw breath.
Especially when it came to Australia skipper Steve Smith, who scored eight and swapped barbs with Kohli. The pair’s running battle even continued during the morning drinks break.
Umpire Nigel Llong spoke with Kohli at various points during the day but his antagonistic ways didn’t stop.
“I’m losing respect for him. He’s not only now continuing his disrespect of the Australian players and umpires, but I think he’s putting pressure on his own players,” Healy told radio station SEN on Monday.
“The stuff he did with Steve Smith was unacceptable.
“There’s massive cracks showing in (Kohli).
“I’ve said in the past he’s the best batsman I’ve ever seen. His feistiness and real aggression towards the opposition has been good (in the past), especially when he wasn’t captain.
“Kohli’s aggression was good for them, but I think it’s not good for them any more.”
Renshaw approached Llong following Smith’s dismissal, but played a straight bat when asked about the sledging on Sunday night.
“We all took it pretty well and we know that they’re trying to get under our skin because we’ve got a one-nil lead in the series,” the 20-year-old opener said.
“It was really loud out there … it’s something I’m probably not used to, but it’s about embracing different conditions and challenges.
“I was just trying to enjoy it and laugh at what he was saying, because some of it was quite funny.
“I don’t try and say too much out there.”
Ravi Shastri, who played 80 Tests for India, opined the top-ranked Test side were “clearly feeling the heat”.
“Australia has been the better team on this tour in most sessions of this series,” Shastri wrote in The Times of India.
“They are prepared to walk on coals of fire. In conditions alien to them, instincts alien to them, they made runs in drips.
“India found a wall too thick to be breached.”