Former Australian pace spearhead Mitchell Johnson has called India captain Virat Kohli “frustrated” at not being able to score big runs in the ongoing Test series.
“He’s obviously quite passionate, but I just think he’s frustrated because he hasn’t scored a run and he’s letting his emotions get the better of him,” Johnson wrote in his blog on foxsports.com.au.
During the second Test in Bengaluru, Kohli and his Australian counterpart Steve Smith clashed on the controversial DRS call with the Indian alleging that Smith repeatedly sought DRS inputs from the dressing room.
A day after Kohli lambasted the Australian team and just about stopped short of calling Smith a ‘cheat’, the Cricket Boards of India and Australia waded into the controversy by coming out with statements backing their respective captains.
Johnson further said, “You could sense the vibe change halfway through the match and it coincided with India getting ahead in the game.
“Obviously whenever there’s a wicket the cameras go straight to Kohli to see his reaction—they know they’re going to get those kind of reactions from him.
“And they did! He was giving a send-off to just about every player, which you’ve got to be very careful with. It can happen sometimes, when you’re pumped up and you get a bit too fired up.”
Johnson recalled the verbal duels he had with Kohli in the past.
“I felt completely at home watching the action as Australia and India went toe-to-toe in the second Test because of one man: Virat Kohli. Virat was in the thick of everything.
“He was pumping up the crowd, giving every Australian player a send-off and generally being fired up. It reminded me very much of my playing days because, well, I had a few run-ins with Virat.”
The fast bowler spoke about a specific incident involving Kohli and himself in the Boxing Day Test in 2014.
“To be honest, I think it was every time we played. He hasn’t had any time for me since the Boxing Day Test in 2014, when he finished the day saying he had no respect for me.
“The moment that changed everything was when he blocked a ball back to me and I threw it back at the stumps, seeing Virat was out of his crease and thinking it was a chance of a run out. The only problem was that Virat was in the way.
“He got hit in the back and I apologised straight away because it was a complete accident, but that message didn’t seem to get through. There were plenty of verbals after that and he hasn’t really stopped since.”