Something absolutely shocking transpired during Day 3 of the Cape Town Test between India and South Africa. We are not talking about the horror DRS decision that went against India but what transpired after that. The rant that Virat Kohli and a few others came up with was horrendous and absolutely unacceptable.
In an act unbecoming of a captain who is leading his nation in the most popular sport in the country, Kohli went up to the stump mic and blabbered: “Focus on your team as well when they shine the ball, eh, not just the opposition.” (an indirect reference to the ball-tampering controversy. KL Rahul and Ravichandran Ashwin also made some needless comments. Agreed, the decision was controversial, but this was definitely the worst way they could react.
The Indian captain did not show any regret when asked about the controversy at the post-match conference following India’s defeat in Cape Town, which was expected but sad. In a way, it was a reflection of the utter disregard he has for the way the game should be played. “We understood what happened on the field, and people on the outside don’t know exact details of what goes on on the field,” was his strange rebuttal. Not surprisingly, Kohli and the Indian team were let away with a warning from the match referee, which actually sets a very dangerous precedent, as other teams could be encouraged to do the same.
Least Kohli could have done was say sorry
He may not agree to it, but the misbehaviour of Kohli and co. over what can, at best, be described as a technical error, was completely uncalled for. Like humans, technology can also err, and, perhaps, it did in Cape Town. Mind you, there is another theory, which points out that there was enough bounce on the surface to take the ball over the stumps, which is a fair debate in itself.
Coming back to the point. Kohli and a few others lost their wits in the heat of the moment. Just like the technology, they also erred. This is not the first time it has happened. On numerous occasions in the past, players have behaved in a far less inappropriate manner and have been reprimanded for the same. But Kohli and co crossed the limit with their conduct. And, being the captain, the least the Indian ‘leader’ could have done was tender an apology.
Not the first time it has happened
And yes, this is not the first time it has happened (DRS controversy) and will definitely not be the last time. No matter how much technology evolves, an element of error will remain. After all, technology is human-made, and since humans err, so will technology, at times, like it did on Day 3 in Cape Town. Former Pakistan spinner Saeed Ajmal reminded India of the 2011 World Cup semi-final when Sachin Tendulkar got an lbw decision overturned using the DRS technology. That time as well, to the naked eye, it seemed the ball was hitting the stumps, but ball-tracking showed otherwise.
Over the years, so many decisions have gone against a person or a team, particularly when there was no DRS. It may pain Indian fans to hear this, but horrible umpiring in an era before neutral umpires played its part in India’s 2001 historic series. There were some horrendous decisions where umpires were raising their fingers even before Indian bowlers had completed their appeals. A couple of years back, Adam Gilchrist reacted to a video of Harbhajan Singh’s hat-trick from the Kolkata Test. Gilchrist was one of the victims and pointed out that had there been DRS; he would not have been lbw since there was a big inside edge.
Australia are not known for their good behaviour on the field, but in that series, they were incredibly restraint even as a number of contentious decisions went against them. The bottom line is, technology or no technology, decisions will never be 100% perfect. But for the Indians to cry cheating just because one decision didn’t go their way was ludicrous, sorry to say!