Former South Africa batter Daryll Cullinan reserved strong words for Virat Kohli for his on-field behaviour after a DRS outcome went against India during the third Test match against South Africa at Newlands in Cape Town which the hosts won by 7 wickets to clinch the series 2-1. Apart from exhilarating cricket from both sides, the series-deciding Test will also be remembered for the DRS controversy that took place late on Day 3. South Africa captain Dean Elgar was given out LBW by on-field umpire Marais Erasmus off Ravichandran Ashwin’s bowling. The left-hander decided to take the review. The replays, much to the surprise of many including umpire Erasmus, showed the ball would have gone over the stumps. The third umpire asked Erasmus to reverse his decision and Elgar survived, which infuriated the Indian cricketers.
Captain Virat Kohli led the way as many Indian cricketers including KL Rahul and Ashwin vented out their anger on the stump microphone.
Reacting to the incident, Cullinan said it was “out of line” and added that Kohli has got away with “unacceptable behaviour” on the cricket field for far too long.
“I love Virat Kohli, I love his cricket, I love the way he plays. But there has to be a line drawn somewhere to say ‘hang on, you must be severely punished’. I just cannot believe that they could think along those sorts of lines. That’s just out of line. For far too long Virat Kohli has got away with behaviour which is unacceptable on a cricket field. But he’s Virat Kohli and I don’t like it, quite frankly,” Cullinan told ESPNCricinfo.
Former India batter Sanjay Manjrekar too shared his thoughts on the incident that took social media by storm.
“First things first, we all thought that the ball was going to hit the stumps so I can understand the reaction from Erasmus. What followed that was pretty serious. There was an insinuation from the Indian camp that the host broadcasters were up to some mischief to make sure they were putting their own team at an advantage. That is a serious kind of insinuation. I have a problem with that,” Manjrekar added.
Kohli, for his part, decided not to delve too deep on the matter.
“I have no comment to make. I understood what happened on the field and people on the outside don’t know exactly what goes on the field. So, for me to try and justify what we did on the field and say ‘we got carried away’…. If we would have charged up and picked up three wickets there that could have been probably the moment that could change the game,” said Kohli in the post-match press conference as quoted by news agency ANI.
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