Gqeberha — We love when Virat Kohli is fired-up on the field and giving nothing away to the opposition. It sadly has gotten him on the wrong side of the law on numerous occasions.
Here, IOL Sport’s Ongama Gcwabe looks at three memorable moments when Kohli’s passion really spiced up an encounter.
Versus Gautam Gambhir in Lucknow this past week
Kohli — the former Royal Challengers Bangalore captain — was involved in a heated argument with Lucknow Super Giants mentor Gambhir.
Throughout the match on Monday, Kohli was at his animated best with his over-the-top celebrations.
After RCB’s 28-run victory, Kohli was spotted having a go at Gambhir as the two teams shook hands after yet another high-intensity IPL match. Both Kohli and Gambhir rarely shy away from a “fight” and almost always face it head on.
They were both fined 100% of their match fees as a result of their outburst. In Kohli’s case, it was his second fine in the IPL this season.
The 2014-15 Test series v Australia
This drama really set Kohli apart as a fierce competitor and a highly-skilled individual. Contrary to India’s Test batters of the past — who frequently smiled and moved out the way when big Australian fast bowlers charged in at them — Kohli gives just as much as he takes from the opposition.
In response to a fired-up Mitchell Johnson during the first Test, Kohli struck two centuries in what was a career-changing performance. Johnson’s first ball to Kohli set the tone for their animosity during the series as he came charging in, bowling a bouncer that struck the Indian batter on the helmet.
Kohli maintained his composure then, but there would be no such repeat during the third Test.
At the Melbourne Cricket Ground as Kohli was moving onto another century, Johnson collected the ball after an innocuous defensive shot and threw it back at Kohli, hitting him in the back. Kohli managed to swat away the next delivery for four, but it was not long before the two exchanged angry words that required the intervention of teammates and umpires.
Kohli’s fearlessness during that series however, inspired the famous Border-Gavaskar triumph in Australia in 2018-19, where a young Rishabh Pant mirrored Kohli’s display in Sydney to draw the match and win the series for India.
Talking wickets in Cape Town, January 2022
They were the No 1 Test team in the world when they toured South Africa and had built a great reputation with their success away from home. One box needed ticking on their to-do list: Win a Test series in SA.
Against the Proteas, they were certain favourites, despite being the away team.
A lot was, therefore, on the line for the skipper and that showed in his energy in the field at Newlands during the third Test with the series level at 1-1. Eager to secure victory, a visibly frustrated Kohli accused SuperSport of biased broadcasting.
“Focus on your team as well when they shine the ball, hey, and not just the opposition. You’re trying to catch people all the time.” Kohli said on the stump mic, referring to Sandpapergate.
The captain’s anger spilt over after an LBW review of Dean Elgar was overturned. The Indians would lose the series 2-1 and Kohli stepped down as Test captain thereafter. The ICC did not punish Kohli for his theatrics during the Test.