Even on a day where he didn’t score too many runs, it was all about Virat Kohli on the third day of the opening Test at Adelaide.
First Australia coach Justin Langer took exception to Kohli’s enthusiastic wicket celebrations, saying that that if his team celebrated like Kohli they would be seen as “the worst blokes in the world”. Then the Indian captain’s impromptu dance on the field took social media by storm, and all before he even came out to bat.
But when he did, it was to a chorus of boos from a section of the 30,000-strong Saturday crowd at the Adelaide Oval. Incidentally, Kohli was applauded when he walked out to bat on day one of the Test.
While it didn’t stop him from putting the hosts under pressure, Ricky Ponting and Travis Head both said it was unnecessary.
It was looking ominous for Australia with Kohli and Pujara compiling a 71-run third-wicket partnership, but spinner Nathan Lyon got a massive breakthrough when he snared the Indian skipper for 34 near the close of play.
Former captain Ponting, no stranger to booing from the crowd in his heyday, said that while it was not ideal, it is something a player has to accept.
“I don’t like seeing it at all,” Ponting told cricket.com.au. “It didn’t worry me as a player when it happened in England a couple times. You’ve almost got to accept it as acknowledgement for what you’ve done in the game. But I’d rather not see that happen at all.
“It’ll be water off a duck’s back (for Kohli), I’m sure. He’s probably had worse things happen to him on a cricket field, I would have thought, than getting booed by a couple of spectators as he walks on.
“If anything, it might have steeled him a little bit more,” Ponting added.
The Indian captain played an uncharacteristic knock of 34 off 104 balls before jabbing at a short ball from Nathan Lyon to Aaron Finch at forward short leg. On the way, he reached another milestone, joining becoming just the fifth Indian to score 1,000 Test runs in Australia.