Mumbai v Bangalore, IPL 2013, Mumbai April 27, 2013

Kohli lays into 'hateful' Mumbai crowd

ESPNcricinfo staff

Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli has expressed disbelief at "the hatred towards the opposition" in Mumbai that, he said, he finds prevalent during the IPL. Speaking after his team's 58-run loss to Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede Stadium, Kohli said the spectators seemed to have forgotten that he represents "their country" in international cricket.

"I don't know what is wrong with people in this venue. It feels a bit weird because at the end of the day you play for India and you don't come here to be hated," Kohli said. "It has happened to a few players in the past as well. I don't know why they get so worked up during IPL. IPL is not the end of the world. They forget that the players they are booing for also play for their country.

"It is only creating hatred among the players. When I come back and play for India, they are going to cheer for me. It doesn't work that way."

Kohli seemingly incurred the crowd's wrath after effecting the run out of Ambati Rayudu without the Mumbai Indians batsman facing a ball. Kohli had just run out Dinesh Karthik with a direct hit, bringing Rayudu to the non-striker's end. From there, Rayudu had taken a start as Kieron Pollard hit towards Kohli in the covers. Kohli scored another direct hit, and Rayudu was short of his ground after getting into a tangle with the bowler, Vinay Kumar. The collision was not intentional, with Vinay backing away from the stumps to collect the throw, his back to Rayudu. It however resulted in the batsman's bat lifting off the ground as the stumps were dislodged.

Talking about that run-out, Kohli said: "It is very important to have knowledge of cricket. If it was any intentional interruption from the bowler then the umpire would have stopped the batsman [from walking off]. It is his job not mine. The bowler didn't see the batsman and the batsman didn't see the bowler, and they collided. It was perfectly fine to be honest."

"It is very important to have knowledge of cricket. If it was any intentional interruption from the bowler then the umpire would have stopped the batsman [from walking off]. It is his job not mine."
Virat Kohli on Ambati Rayudu's run-out

Kohli hinted that the batsman should have been more alert. "You should have that much cricket awareness to see where the bowler is coming back. He [Vinay] had to back up when there was no one behind him."

Following that incident, the crowd consistently jeered Kohli, reportedly calling him a 'cheat' and booing him even at the post-match presentation. The experience was very different from the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore, Kohli said, where all "Indian players are appreciated". "Whoever wins or loses, in any of the games in Bangalore, every captain is cheered, every Indian player is cheered. People appreciate good cricket."

This comes on the same day former India captain Sunil Gavaskar, in a newspaper column, backed the Mumbai crowd's "big heart". "The beauty of a cosmopolitan city like Mumbai is that there are enough supporters of other teams, so there won't be the one-sided expectations as in some other cities - where if your team does not do well, there's silence, while there is raucous applause for even a single off an inside-edge if it comes from the blade of their batsmen," Gavaskar wrote. "Mumbai has a big heart to accommodate such behavior, for it has seen how most people who have made careers and a profitable living in the metropolis after coming from outside still do not have affection for it."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • tushar on April 30, 2013, 18:47 GMT

    @ the second "featured" comment: - We MUMBAIKAR know our cricket and know that Technically Rayadu was out....Coz it was a MUMBAIKAR whi was out in similar fashion in 1999 test against Pakistan in Calcutta when Shoiab AKhtar INADVERTENTLY blocked him. It was the same Mumbaikar who was runout in CB series in Australia, when Brett Lee was INADVERTENTLY in his way. Also there was sportmanspirit displayed by DHONI to recall Ian Bell after the run out iduring the 2012 test in England, despite ENgland being ahead and looking to win the test. Against Srilanka, Sehwag displayed similar spirit after Ashhwin had runout one of the batsman for backing too far. So i think we all MUMBAIKARS are more upset about the sportman Spirit aspect of the game, which i think Virat Kohli failed to understand and started complaining about the crowd.

  • Harsh on April 30, 2013, 18:46 GMT

    He's a sportsman, not a scholar. Time and again, Kohli's spats have born out of unadulterated passion. It's too much to expect politically correct statements from a 24 year old. As and when more and more young cricketers play as Captains of whichever side, such situations are bound to occur. This might be strange to Cricket where captaincy has traditionally been with the experienced, but in many other individual as well as team sports, young sportsmen stepping the line in full media glare is no oddity.

  • Muhammed on April 30, 2013, 11:51 GMT

    Crowd supports a player mainly for three reasons... 1) The player plays for their favourite TEAM (National team/local team) 2) The player has great TALENT (Eg: Sehwag, Gambhir etc) 3) The player has good personality/conduct (Eg: Laxman, Irfan Pathan etc) During any match, the TEAM will the most important thing for the majority of the crowd. So, any player in the opposition team will be playing against their interest. However, they might like or support the performance of any particular opposition player if his talent or personality influence the crowd. For example, Bangalore crowd will like to see Dravid score a fifty for RR and RCB wins the game. Players like Sachin, Dravid, Dhoni belongs to this category.... they get support for their personality, talent and team. But players like Kohli, Sreesanth, Pollard etc will get support because of team & talent only.... their behaviour on the field won't attract many! This is what Mr. Kohli should understand. National players has to be role

  • Varun on April 30, 2013, 6:50 GMT

    I think Virat has gona a bit over the top in his remarks, I mean just like players in the field in the heat of the moment lose there temper and say something absurd, why can't the fans who are as much involve as player in the match say something. And, look who is talking about when I play for INDIA they will cheer for him than how come they are booing down as RCB player, than why didn't he thought about this when he had full on confrontation with Mr. Gautam Gambhir, while that act of his is to considered heat of the moment sorry Mr. Virat you can't apply two different yard stick. So, it would been better hanlde by him by saying probably the crowd said those words in the heat of the moment. I think he will and he should learn how to handle crowd remarks, as supposedly he is the next big think in INDIAN CRICKET.

  • vignesh on April 30, 2013, 5:02 GMT

    Kohli it does work that way... In politics this tenure you support the ruling party and when the opposition party comes into power dont you shift gears?? We admire your cricketing skills and physical endurance but you are far from a captain material. You need to be calm under pressure, guide the team members act like a warrior when your playing but when responding to people and comments you should have yourself light... The reason behind Dhoni's success thats the reason he is admired by everyone not just by Chennai Crowd!

  • tushar on April 30, 2013, 0:45 GMT

    I think this situation is being dragged out of context, the Mumbai crowd was not booeing Kohli before the run out incident, it was only after that incident the crowd got upset. And Kohli was within his right to appeal, he wasnt cheating, it was just not in the spiirt of the game. During the England series, the Indian team was also boood when they took the field, before the crowd realized that Bell had been recalled, after which they appreciated the Indian teams gesture. Had Kohli done something similar, the crowd would have appreciated him as well.

  • Lax on April 29, 2013, 20:36 GMT

    I think Kohli easily forgetting what he has done and is kind of getting his wrath out on the spectators saying that even he is Indian and plays for India. 1. Virat need to understand that its a game and if he feels that he is an Indian then why is he even playing for Bangalore and why are there 8 teams in the same India. People ought to boo you. 2. Virat... Are you forgetting your spat with Gambhir. Even he is an Indian that to a Delhi boy where you also come from. 3. Virat, you might not have even spent an hour with the spectators who were booing you, but you would have spent lots and lots of time with Gambhir with whom you had a tough time on field. Do Indian players behave that way? On what grounds you expect the crowd to respect you when you dont keep your respect 4. Learn from your seniors. Respond to critics by your bat and dont show your anger

    All the best... Virat. You are a good player... dont just loose it by such small instances.

  • rahul on April 29, 2013, 17:29 GMT

    It is more strange that Kohli is complaining about crowd loyalty towards IPL teams. One would think IPL folks would see this as a positive sign that IPL teams are building a fan following. Take NBA as an example, it is routine for a player to be booed in his town after a trade to another franchise.

  • Dummy4 on April 29, 2013, 16:39 GMT

    What on earth is wrong with Kohli? Isn't he a professional? Doesn't he play for India? One passionate Mumbai crowd spooks the "run machine" of the Indian team! Give me a break! Who can forget the spat that Kohli was involved in with KKR captain Gautam Gambhir. It was ugly, it was uncalled for by both players and it didn't improve Kohli's attitude problem. He may be "awesome" in ads, but he is a bit of an ugly customer otherwise. His statement that the sportsmanship on the ground during a cricket match rests with umpire. Its not "his problem", Kohli asserts. But he cannot be the complete cricketer if he didn't. Kohli jumps to conclusions too fast. Sorry Kohli, there is nothing really special about you. Whatever you had, you just lost it. Ask for not whom the bell tolls. It tolls for thee

  • Areen on April 29, 2013, 14:26 GMT

    I saw one of the featured comments mentioning that Technically Kohli did nothing wrong. I guess, then in the same vain technically the crowd did nothing wrong either. India is a free country and freedom of speech allows them to shout and scream at the top of their voice and if that disturbed kohli such that he got out after scoring a measly single, then kudos to the mumbai crowd. Lets all applaud the 12th man in Mumbai, The fans!!