Indian skipper Virat Kohli is well known for his capability to score big centuries in most significant moments. The Indian run machine also has earned a reputation for being an aggressive player on the field who never stoops in front of challenges. Former Pakistan cricketer Rashid Latif, in a video, looked back on two occasions from Virat Kohli’s cricketing career, to elucidate why bowlers shouldn’t mess with Kohli during the game.
Talking in a YouTube video, Rashid Latif reminisced about India’s Test series in Australia in 2014, in which MS Dhoni had called it a day after the third Test, the first two of which India lost, and the third Test ended in a draw. MS Dhoni was injured for the first Test, and Virat Kohli was appointed as a stand-in skipper for the game. Following MSD’s retirement, the 31-year-old was again made the stand-in skipper for the 4th Test.
“In 2014 series, when Dhoni retired after two Tests. Then there was one Test, in which Virat Kolhi scored two tons in each innings (Actually, Kohli had scored a ton in first innings of 3rd Test at MCG, and in 1st innings of 4th Test at SCG. He scored an unbeaten 76 in the 2nd innings at SCG). In that match, Mitchell Johnson stepped up to Kohli, and dono ke beech theek thaak gaaliyaa chal ri tha. Watch that clip, and you will see Kohli’s reaction was not defensive,” he said.
“There are some players you don’t mess with. We had Javed bhai, Viv Richards, Sunil Gavaskar. Today, Virat Kohli is one such player,” he added.
Rashid Latif further remembered India’s T20I series West Indies in 2019, in which Virat Kohli emulated pacer Kesrick Williams’ ‘notebook celebration’ after smashing the ball for a maximum. Williams had given his signature send-off to the Indian skipper back in 2017, and Virat Kohli admitted, he gave a reply, although insisted that it was in friendly spirit.
“Recently, in a T20I match against West Indies, a left-arm pacer (actually, it was a right-arm pacer Kesrick Williams) said some words to him. Even though, Kohli does not score too many runs in T20Is, but he went on to play a great innings in that match. There are certain players you don’t mess with during a match,” Latif said.
The 31-year-old has featured in 86 Test, 248 ODIs and 82 Tests for the Indian team. Virat Kohli has cumulated 7,240 Test runs, 11,867 ODI runs and 2,794 T20I runs.