Australian coach Justin Langer has admitted that after the violent celebrations of Virat Kohli during India’s 2018-19 tour he felt like a “punching bag”, while also pointing out the “double standards” when it came to cricket sledding.
Virat’s Aggression To Team India’s Victory:
India, led by Kohli, enjoyed an incredible Down Under summer, winning the 3-1 Border Gavaskar Trophy, capturing their first-ever Australian soil test series. A 2-1 win was followed in the ODI’s while the T 20 series ended in 1-1 draw.
Langar Held His Anger Back On Field:
During the series, Australia, which was determined to patch up their badly dented reputation in the aftermath of the ball-tampering controversy, had decided during the series not to engage verbally with the Indian captain.
However, Langer was upset with Kohli’s on-field antics but he could not be vocal about it. “I recall that afternoon (feeling) like a punching bag. We can’t fight back because it looked like we had our hands behind our backs and we just had to take it” said Langer to a leading Sports Magazine.
“You have to sense the double standards the way their captain pursues and we kind of have to be vigilant. Imagine if we’ve handled two out of ten (of) that,” he said.
Langar asked his players to take on Kohli but cautioned the hosts that they would not cross the line between provocation and violence.
“There’s a distinction between violence and banter. There’s no space for harassment. You don’t have to bully him, so you’re standing up for your mate’s banter.”
Kohli and his Australian counterpart Tim Paine were involved in a verbal spat on the fourth day of the second Test at Perth. Paine felt it was time he had enough.
“I just had enough and felt you needed to stand up for yourself and your teammates as well, so that was one of the reasons I figured, ‘ no, I’m the captain, it’s my turn, I’ve got to stand up so show him that we’re here for the battle,” said Paine.
Just after he had gone out to bat, Paine was on the receiving end. “If he messes it up, that’s 2-0. Who’s going to chat then,” the stump microphones caught Kohli saying.
Paine did not hold himself back and replied: “You’ve got to bat first big head.”