‘Virat Kohli a modern great’, Shoaib Akhtar urges critics to cut some slack for Indian skipper

Opinions are divided about the Indian captain Virat Kohli’s on-field behaviour in the ongoing Test series against Australia. While Sunil Gavaskar and Naseeruddin Shah are two of the biggest names to express their disappointment with the 30-year-old, the legendary Allan Border and the Aussie skipper Tim Paine haven’t found anything wrong with Virat’s approach. Another cricketing personality to jump to Kohli’s defence is ex-Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Akhtar.

Naseeruddin called Kohli ‘the world’s worst behaved player’, while Border backed the skipper’s acts suggesting they are driven out of his passion for the game. Akhtar also spoke on the same lines as the former Australian cricketer Border, suggesting Virat’s aggression is a result of his competitive nature which a series like India – Australia further fuels

@imVkohli is one of the modern greats of the game. Aggression has been a part & parcel of competitive cricket, specially when you are playing Down Under as long as it stays in limit. Please cut him some slack,” said Akhtar urging critics to not go too harsh on the way Kohli conducts himself.

Former Aussie speedster Mitchell Johnson was also critical of Kohli’s behaviour, especially for the ‘cold handshake’ he gave his counterpart Paine after the Perth Test ended in a 146-run defeat for the tourists.

“At the end of the match, you should be able to look each other in the eyes, shake hands and say ‘great contest’,” Johnson had written in his column for Fox Sports. “Virat Kohli could not do that with Tim Paine, shaking the Australian captain’s hand but barely making eye contact with him. To me, that is disrespectful.”

Having seen the Test series go level 1-1 in Perth, Kohli and his men have a few days’ of rest before they reassemble the squad and look to bag an unassailable lead in the 4-match series by winning the third Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground