Sharda Ugra
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Senior editor at ESPNcricinfo

India's road rage masks their inadequacy

What would the reaction have been if all this bad behaviour had come from a team touring India instead?

Sharda Ugra

January 27, 2012

Comments: 187 | Text size: A | A

Virat Kohli is pumped up after getting to his maiden Test ton, Australia v India, 4th Test, Adelaide, 3rd day, January 26, 2012
Kohli after his Adelaide hundred: why so angry? © Getty Images
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Series/Tournaments: India tour of Australia
Teams: India

A day ago, Virat Kohli played an innings that can be described in three words: sparky, spunky and spiky. Having reached his first Test hundred, Kohli leapt into the air, waved his bat, kissed his helmet and produced a lip-readable Hindi profanity in celebration - one directed at brothers worldwide, as it involved all their sisters.

After the day's play, Kohli spoke openly about his struggles to find his feet in Test cricket and then talked about being abused by the crowd and being sledged by the Australians when close to his century. Kohli had "flipped the bird" at a section of the Sydney crowd during the Test there, earning a 50% docking of his match fee. He tweeted later that the crowd had said the "worst things" about, surprise, surprise, mothers and sisters.

Before the Perth Test, Ishant Sharma "flipped", at a go-karting track when heckled by some locals. Two days before Adelaide, Gautam Gambhir made a statement about how India needed to prepare "rank turners" for Australia's next tour of India.

Ishant is one of the team's more peaceable, hardworking fellows. Gambhir is often spoken of as the next India captain, a perennial "fighter" who goes from anger to calm and back in a matter of minutes.

Kohli's batting is a thing of beauty, confidence, ambition. See him whip the ball through covers or pull a quick off his face, like he did earlier this week, and his quality shouts at top volume. An otherwise thoughtful, well-spoken, gifted cricketer, he is now close to being trapped by his extra attachment: of the instant profanity as a primary means of expressing joy or sorrow or irritation or exultation. At top volume, like in Adelaide.

Now all this flipping out in public and "bring it to my patch, mate" may look like a manifestation of aggro by the "new India" but it really is a version of road rage.

For the last six months and seven (and a half) overseas Tests, India's Test team - suddenly a gridlocked generation - has been unable to make progress anywhere. Never mind getting close to a destination on this journey, they are struggling to cover mere inches. Since the England tour, the team finds itself boxed in on all sides by the opposition, squeezed for room in every department, the frustration within them and the noise around them growing louder and more shrill.

Some players have been stoic, some disoriented (R Ashwin said that all talk about 4-0 and England was "the biggest detriment" to the team), others effectively witty, like Zaheer Khan in his exchange of sweet nothings with Brad Haddin. The most visible (and audible) public reactions - from Kohli, Ishant and Gambhir - though, are the extreme, illogical responses of road rage. Its lashed-out fury attempts to mask or distract from the general inadequacy visible on the field in England and Australia.

Macho posturing aims to elevate all such responses under the blanket term of "giving it back". Except that real paybacks must always be reflected on the scoreboard. Otherwise cricketers can easily turn into caricatures. Had they not begun to win Tests overseas, Sourav Ganguly's "new India" would merely have looked ridiculous.

Kohli's century will earn him much respect, as it should. All through the ODI series, though, he is going to be singled out by crowds in Australia, and by the fielders, again and again. He won't be the first Indian batsman to be abused by crowds or sledged by his opponents. In the end, however, being either the most successful or the most consistent, the most entertaining or the most effective, is all that will count.

Don't worry about Ben Hilfenhaus and Kohli much. Players on both sides will eventually sort out their arguments, maybe become all buddy-buddy in the IPL. Gambhir and Peter Siddle may even do a cutesy ad together.

But are younger players in the Indian dressing room being ticked off by older and hopefully wiser folk for flipping people the bird or empty chatter? Because none of this reflects well on the Indian team or what it looks like on the outside.

What about if all this had happened in India? What if all this rage was to be found in members of a visiting team trailing 0-3 in a four-Test series in India?

What if, during the second Test, down 0-1, a visiting player showed the crowd the middle finger and complained that he was abused? (Which, in any case, happens in heaps in India, and to the Indian players themselves.) Another fellow does the same to some yahoos heckling him during a tourist excursion before the third Test. The visitors' young spinner says that the constant talk of being blanked out Test after Test has been the biggest detriment to his team's during the series. Their future captaincy candidate declares that when the Indians toured their country next, they would get "gardens" to bat on.

What would that visiting team have been called in India? There's one word for it and it's not even a profanity.


Sharda Ugra is senior editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by Tweak_it on (January 30, 2012, 6:31 GMT)

At the outset, let me make one point clear. I am not a fan of objectionable on-field behavior. As role models, the players need to be conscious of how they behave. However, in this article is as over the top in its criticism as the reaction of the player itself. Branding the outburst as "road rage masking inadequacy" is taking it a bit too far. Many past and present players, in Cricket and other sports, are known to have a unique (not the most pleasant way) of expressing their emotions e.g. Miandad, McGrath, Broad, Sir Alex, Murinoh, Suarez, McEnroe, Becker, Murray etc are known for their public outbursts. There are instances of otherwise 'balanced personalities" showing extreme emotions. Sunny's walkout threat vs. Australia and Sachin's abusive send off of Saqlain (see the footage of the match vs. Pak in Sharjah in 1996). Instead while we may criticize such behavior, let's not be over judgmental and over analytical and brand this as a reaction to hide personal inadequacies.

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas_Atheist on (January 30, 2012, 2:57 GMT)

Ugra, just consider this - so you are basically saying that a brother shouldn't get upset and shouldn't retort at the drunken mob who attack the modesty of his sister and mother. Surely my mother and sister are very personal to me than cricket or the drunken mob. Period! In the context, a professional cricketer isn't playing there to see the modesty of his sister and mother being dragged down by a drunken mob, just because this mob had spent money on tickets and beer. Kohli flipping the bird was a reaction to what that drunken mob said. I agree with you on Kohli using profanities when he accomplishes something which is plain dumb and thuggish. Very low. Repulsive. I'm also completely miffed at Kohli using profanities. But, his finger showing incident showed his lack of tact and awareness in dealing with the issue. He should have reported it to the relevant officials, then and there, and should have got that mob evicted for the extremely personal abuse directed at him and his family.

Posted by IndianInnerEdge on (January 30, 2012, 2:44 GMT)

Well done Sharda, You are the one rational voice of sanity among'st the general chest thumping jingoistic indian media. The last word of your post says it all - 'Whingers's with a capital 'W' Pathetic stuff from GG-about the 'rank turners'-sort of saying that 'My dad is bigger n stronger than urs, come home and we'll sort u out'. Something Indian team can learn from Aus, is they play hard, step over the line whilst sledging(occasionally) but give credit when due, VK got handshaked when he hit his 100, Clark in his speach said how good it was to play agains the Indian legends. For all the hogwash that is written about aus public in general, they support the underdog and most would cheer if VK does great things in the ODI series. On a side note, Indian team is the team most love to hate, this is due to the paparazzi tendencies of our media and general arrogance of most indian bloggers.....C'mon guys, we have one game that unites us, let us enjoy it in the spirit - -peace:)!

Posted by   on (January 29, 2012, 18:14 GMT)

I missed Kohli's ton as I was on road for work. I saw the replays on youtube, I am not sure what this author is writing about. This seems like a pathetic attempt at know towing a certain audience. This was Kohli's first test hundred which he scored in an extremely challenging situation. His senior partners gave in to pressure but he persevered.

Kohli's celebration was a well deserved one -people who have fought, survived and persevered, people who value tenacity as a character trait would easily identify with his celebration.

Well done Kohli - congratulations and best wishes for many more.

Posted by kirby51137 on (January 29, 2012, 11:20 GMT)

Sharda, first I'd like to say fantastic article. It's not often you hear an Indian saying this, especially in a series against Australia.

Honestly, as an Australian myself, we welcome players looking to bring a combative attitude to the playing against us- sides captained by Ganguly, Graeme Smith, and Stephen Fleming have all earned great respect by doing so- but you can't have it both ways. Kohli was one of the first to start the onfield war of words, but can't have it both ways. He can either 'participate' on the field with the Australians, but can't then go crying about the Australians giving it back to him.

Posted by   on (January 29, 2012, 5:08 GMT)

What the hell is wrong with Indian media... I cannot believe they can criticize Kohli in this moment... Does Sharda even understand how that hundred must have felt to the young man...he has been criticized left right and center without giving him any chance...the australian team on the other hand is not even talking about shaun marsh and his bad form till the end of the is an indian cricketer full of raw energy and agression and people criticize him for that..i think cricketer bashing is a religion now in india.. What do we want our cricket team to be...a bunch of saints who keep wondering how to behave -- or a set of players who go out their to fight and give exactly what they get and probably more...i would love to have 11 kohli like individuals in my team!!!

Posted by   on (January 29, 2012, 0:22 GMT)

Sharda Ugra maybe senior editor at cricinfo,but her article definitely misses the mark,infact it smacks of the old English protocol of stiff upper lip,keep emotions in check and let our actions do the talking. Well Sharda it`s about time that you awake and smell the masala chai !! The opposition have had a rank lack of respect for the Indian team for years,sledging,cussing even chucking jellybeans onto to the pitch,the aussies and the english have been the worst culprits. The fact that some of the Indian team have started to give it back to the opposition,verbally is something positive and shows no lack of passion.The don`t expect this fron and Indian team but more to the point they don`t like it,i say it`s about time we fight fire with fire,sure India need to give a better account of themselves overseas but remember this,we won the series in England last time and we were screwed out of winning the Australian series by terrible officiating.

Posted by ccrriicc on (January 28, 2012, 22:54 GMT)

Ms Ugra for once shows some guts to talk about the most succesful of the Indian elite cricket team - and she is not even on the BCCI payroll - forget that with writeups like that - she will have to make do - this neophyte will be India's captain - I am told - as if what he has done han't ever been done - this is not to disregard his talent - but for heavens sake you are representing the ordinary Indian who does not get paid millions to play cricket or birdies. I prefer a failed Dravid to finger pointing Kohli - for once let us copy Australina 's desire to win , not their sometimes challenged decency.

Posted by   on (January 28, 2012, 17:04 GMT)

These idiots all want India to roll over and play dead. Thay are fretting at India's non-compliance.

Posted by basusri133b on (January 28, 2012, 16:24 GMT)

An excellent piece Sharda, you are right on target.

Sadly this seems to be the future of Indian cricket.

Posted by   on (January 28, 2012, 15:11 GMT)

People defending Kohli's behavior, please remember two things:

1. They're representing the nation, which carries a certain dignity with it.

2. They're getting paid more money than you and I will ever see to do this. If any of us were this shoddy and uncouth at our workplaces, we'd get fired in seconds. It's called "professionalism". It's a word these prima donnas need to learn about.

Posted by linusjf on (January 28, 2012, 13:55 GMT)

Aggression is good but it has to be controlled, channeled and funneled in the right direction and on the right platform. Can anyone claim that Tendulkar is not aggressive because he's not demonstrative?

Posted by deepak_sholapurkar on (January 28, 2012, 13:53 GMT)

Probably this is the situation Greg Chappel wanted to fight 3 years back. I Agree he hurried the things but he was right. All the Greats leaving at the same time and making the indian cricket to struggle in the future. I hope India will not become another West Indies.

Posted by   on (January 28, 2012, 13:23 GMT)

Why are the cricketers complaining IPL payday is around the corner

Posted by whyowhy on (January 28, 2012, 12:33 GMT)

When were Kiwis neutral when talking about the aussies ?? get real kiwi and or you might be cannonized...............

Posted by derrida_derider on (January 28, 2012, 7:52 GMT)

As an Australian, I have to say that its a pity for India's sake that you don't have more players with Kohli's attitude. Australians EXPECT you to give as good as you get. Who knows, if your team learned to sledge better then eventually it might learn not to fall to pieces under pressure as it did.

And I do agree with a couple of comments above - its not so much that India batted terribly but that the Australian fast bowling was just stunningly good. I haven't seen it at that standard since McGrath, Lee and Gillespie were all at their peak. Bring on the Ashes!

Posted by   on (January 28, 2012, 5:52 GMT)

Kohli after his Adelaide hundred: why so angry? that is the dam problem in india..most of the players they are FUKRE (SHOW OFFERS) gambhir, yuvraj,harbhajan,kohli,zaheer,irfaan,etc..board should teach them disciplined,and spirit of game..and the rest play for records...most important for our cricket is start preparing fast wickets like other world.come out from garbage depend on spinners..bring real men fast bowlers.i never seen anyone after great kapil dev.indian batsmen make 99% runs in india on slow tracks and then depend on spinners to win match..come on guys play real cricket..produce fast bowlers who win matches with power.

Posted by VJGS on (January 28, 2012, 3:43 GMT)

Seriously, why are everyone targeting Kohli? Harbajan, Sreesanth have behaved far worse on countless occasions when there was no need for it. Kohli could simply not ignore insults directed at his mother and sister. What's wrong about that? I would've been unhappy if he didn't have the thirst to give it back - first by words then a century.

Posted by MikeMiller on (January 28, 2012, 3:43 GMT)

Well done, Kohli! A lot of us have been waiting too long for a great Test century from you. All the rest of this 'controversy' is just media fluff and ignores the genuine passion shown by players, from many countries, over the years.

Posted by rbond on (January 28, 2012, 3:25 GMT)

I see there is nothing wrong in behavior, I would rather have all players like kohli. He is the future of the India. Beware world.

Posted by sashykanth on (January 28, 2012, 2:52 GMT)

If there was no action, there wouldn't be any reaction. If there was no sledging there wouldn't have been any such rage shown. Your article points at reactions but overlooks actions. Not fair!!

Posted by tfjones1978 on (January 28, 2012, 1:45 GMT)

I FULLY agree with this article. The whinging however is mostly due to the delusion that India were number one in the World just prior to touring England. India do well at home, but away from home they struggle to compete, always have. India struggle to perform about quality pace bowling and have no quality pace attack themselves. This is due to the lack of variety of there pitches and Gambhir's comments just reinforce there belief that all they should need to do is compete on flat pitches or rank turners. Australia has a variety of pitches, from traditional pace (Perth) to significant turners (Adelaide). Australian cricketters, like England, SA and others have grown up having to compete in different conditions and they regularly play test matches over seas. India became number one after playing MANY home matches and only easy away matches against low ranked teams. The ICC ranking system encourages teams to play lots of matches at home. This needs to be addressed!

Posted by Sinhabahu on (January 28, 2012, 1:18 GMT)

Spot on, Sharda. The Indian team has been behaving like a bunch of bullies who have deservedly been beaten up by someone stronger. It's pretty funny for a neutral like me to see them throwing tantrums and telling Australia to "wait and see" until they tour India. Looking at India's most recent performance on the flat track of Adelaide, I can only imagine how Australia is going to butcher them on the batting paradises of India.

Posted by   on (January 27, 2012, 23:24 GMT)

A lot of the talk on this article is about India playing bad but let me point out that the Australians have batted and bowled like champions!! They kept moving the ball in both directions and kept the Indian batsmen guessing!! I have no doubt England, South Africa, Pakistan, Sri Lanka all would have lost this series too!! The way the Australians have batted and bowled have been like reminds me of the old Australian team who always were running in and bowling oppositions out and batting like legends!! Ricky, Clarke and hussey are the only batsmen who have scored the runs but look all of there averages in he last 6months!! Ricky, hussey and Clarke were all due for a long time!! It's unfortunate that it happened to be against india!! With regards to the bowlers the was a lot of pressure on the Australian bowlers being an inexperienced attack! That gave the bowlers to bowl even better to prove the circuits wrong and they have slant the Australian media in the face!!!

Posted by   on (January 27, 2012, 21:37 GMT)

In short, you want Kohli to break down, kneel on the pitch in tears and say "Why yes, cricketing fans of the world. You all are correct. Indeed, we are the worst team the world has ever seen. And not only that, but all your insults about our mothers and sisters are entirely justified and correct. You do no wrong. Please continue with your undoubtedly fair, necessary (and certainly not scandalous) behaviour" You're punishing the victim for the crime.

Posted by VickGower on (January 27, 2012, 21:34 GMT)

@mikey76: "India are an embaressment to their country with these performances." Are you sure you are English?

Posted by   on (January 27, 2012, 21:29 GMT)

Dear Ma'm, I would slightly disagree with the title. It's not as much about India's road rage as much about Kohli's. Your article confirms as much. I guess its okay for a couple of team members to have such an attitude or spirit. On another day, people would say India lacked the killer instinct !!! I agree that the team is inadequate, but one or two team members can be allowed to show off aggression. In fact, some people are naturally aggressive like Kohli. And an added bonus being that Kohli got his maiden ton and probably the the only India in the series so far!!!

Posted by herodotus on (January 27, 2012, 21:16 GMT)

The point raised by Sharda is well taken and she is correct in saying that at the end of the day performance matters most and the Indian team has been lacking there. However since she also brought up a point about what if opposition teams complain in India, so well, we know that for a long time opposition teams have complained when a match gets over in 3-4 days on a turning pitch in India, and even the ICC has at times been asked to look at such pitches. But nobody complains when a match gets over in Perth in 2.5 days. The difference is that the Indian team for the first time complained about some of the overseas pitches, which they just accepted as fait accompli, and that opposition teams have been complaining about sub-continental pitches for a long time. So, perhaps now that the Indian team is taking as aggressive a stance on pitches as the major "grass" playing teams, it is suddenly becoming a big issue. And I agree again that Indian team should play much better overseas

Posted by Wd-X on (January 27, 2012, 20:42 GMT)

Excellent article!

Kohli seems like a spoit brat.

Posted by Nampally on (January 27, 2012, 20:31 GMT)

Sharda, I would much rather have XI fighters like Kohli, than the present lot who just folded meekly like 10 pins - no intensity, no winning spirit. Admittedly if you look at Kohli's sad life of losing his Dad when he was a teen ager, one can understand his anger-because life snatched his Dad.He will soon polish his attitude. He had to fight his way to get in the XI, which was so critical to him - bread winner for his family!. For him he has to produce to retain his place in the team. Failure is not an option, hence the pressure.It is like a "Do or Die" situation always. Kohli adapted his game quickly to the Aussie conditions. He succeeded where the Legends failed badly.Rohit Sharma & Kohli are the future of Indian batting.If only Rohit played all 4 tests India would have done lot better.Kohli has the potential to be a future Indian captain -better leader than Gambhir.Dhoni's Mr. Cool attitude failed badly overseas.A guy with a will to win & a fighter like Kohli - needs to lead India.

Posted by YNS_GoIndia on (January 27, 2012, 20:13 GMT)

Sharda, go and preach this to to Micheal Slater, Glenn McGrath, Gilchrist, Ponting, Steve Waugh, Symonds, Hayden and other Aussies. I am sure they will dismiss you by using the same profanities! It is easy to take a moral stand by sitting outside and away from the heat of the battle. I echo some of the other comments made here, why should Kohli listen to the crap and not give it back? Why should he only listen.

Posted by   on (January 27, 2012, 19:39 GMT)

very well written. witty but to-the-point. totally agree that guys like kohli, gambhir etc. should let their bat/bowl do the talking. Representing one's country is a huge honour and i think the younger generation would be well advised to emulate the integrity of kumble, work ethics of dravid, enthusiasm of sachin. But the more important thing is the youngsters in the indian team should respect the game and the opponents that they play. the upcoming cricketers are very talented and if they can instill in themsekves some virtues would augur great for the indian team.

Posted by   on (January 27, 2012, 19:33 GMT)

Could not disagree more. I believe that aggresion drives performance rather than the other way around. Liberal media, especially Indian media has this habit of bashing their own to earn international badge of objectivity. Internal introspection seems to be their favorite pass time. Let's not question the committment of our own and ignore the boorish behaviour of Australian players and crowds. They cannot abuse in the name of sledging, aggression and being in the moment. Virat represents the next generation who would not take crap from anybody, irrespective of how they perform on the field. Let's hold our head high and keep it that way.

Posted by Precioustar84 on (January 27, 2012, 19:23 GMT)

ps. Kohli was lucky Bhajji wasn't in the team else he too would get slapped for being obnoxious. I like the way you bat Kohli but for God sakes grow some thick skin and as I said this to you on twitter, keep the aggression and let your bat do the talking!! Remember the saying "Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me" if you want to survive in the cricketing world.

Posted by Precioustar84 on (January 27, 2012, 18:48 GMT)

@dunger.bob - Only Indian and Pakistani fans say things about each other's mother and sister. Those types of comments between each other in India and between Pak/India fans on facebook so the fans Virat must've been referring to must have been Indians since it was India match. A while back an Indian fan had taken a video of some rude Indian fans cursing as players were going back to the dressing room in India after an IPL match and Virat is seen fighting them too because they too made comments regarding his mother and sister. Its pretty sad and embarrassing but this is what SOME immature teenagers do in India. Virat and Media did not specify if it was Aus fans or Indian fans. Clearly, they should have. Please publish.

Posted by SaneVoice on (January 27, 2012, 18:39 GMT)

She asks Indians to perform on the field and also cites Kohli's antics as road rage! Contradictory since Kohli made a hundred here and a 75 at Perth. She is more bothered about Kohli's antics rather than the unwillingness of the big three to move on!! She too needs to show some fight and call for the big three to move on!!! Not all individuals are same and please stick to runs and wickets!!!

Posted by myStraightTalk on (January 27, 2012, 18:37 GMT)


Posted by sk12 on (January 27, 2012, 18:31 GMT)

While is Kohli finally finding his feet in test cricket, he does a big blunder with all his swearing and stuff. Now opposition know how to target him, he ll soon be easy meat with his mental weakness.

Posted by GlobalCricketLover on (January 27, 2012, 18:15 GMT)

Wonder what would make ashwin embarassed, may be 0-10 to Zimbabwe in India? may not be enough i guess...

Posted by NairUSA on (January 27, 2012, 18:08 GMT)

Great article Sharda. Right on the money. Wickets and runs speak more than sledges and misplaced attitudes. Coach Duncan should take up the task of making the team feel united and strong. He should earn his bucks! Also, how many eons will it take to make some aussie fans like mikey76 erudite? It is probably hopeless :)

Posted by   on (January 27, 2012, 17:51 GMT)

Awesome article Sharda. Please write more like this !!

Posted by sandson on (January 27, 2012, 17:47 GMT)

A very long time ago a young man who had an atrocious blonde dye on his hackles toured South Africa with the English side. He was single-handedly picked on by the crowd for turning his back on their nation. He took the blows on the chin and eventually scored 3 centuries including the fastest century by an englishman. The crowd was won over and they cheered and gave him a standing ovation in his final match of the tour. That is how you respond. There is always spice if a 'script' is played out. Abuse-prove your mettle-win their hearts. Lets be theatrical.

Posted by vamanan on (January 27, 2012, 17:35 GMT)

Bring in Ganguly to the Indian support staff team. No matter what the title that would have given to. He was the one who molded the master pieces of the team for World Cup victory. His strategical plans, man management skills, motivation and vision can certainly help team India. Did BCCI hear the loud shout from fans to phase out the seniors. No vision; no plans - no wonder why India read 0/8.

Posted by mad_max on (January 27, 2012, 17:27 GMT)

i wanted the comment to be like "two words: SPOT ON"

Posted by ved_mishra on (January 27, 2012, 15:53 GMT)

A very great Article! But I think Kohli is not the culprit! India need young blood like him although I agree that he should react off-field only after performing well on-field which he would learn with experience.

Posted by JustAGame on (January 27, 2012, 14:57 GMT)

@ Charles Dodgson....I'm not sure crickinfo will publish it? but Ugra made it very clear in the last sentence of first para. No points for guessing kind!!

Posted by Anwaar-Sandhu on (January 27, 2012, 14:56 GMT)

i dont mind aggression, but it looks good when u r playing competitive cricket.... it looks ridiculous if u r being slapped 100 times and u become proud if u were able to give a small slap in between and abuse and say, "see how powerful we are". at this time its better that indian players accept defeat to a better team and behave... work hard and better luck in coming series, i hope india recover very soon, my best wishes with indian team!

Posted by JustAGame on (January 27, 2012, 14:55 GMT)

Whole heartily agree with Duncan McLeod. Indians need to loosen-up a bit, we are a sensitive lot. Having said that, match referees and umpires need not intervene in verbal fights on field, these are after all international players. They should only interfere if it goes physical. Sledging adds another level of fun to the game.

Posted by   on (January 27, 2012, 14:45 GMT)

Brilliant article as ever by Sharda. A lot of people have misinterpreted what she is trying to say. The point of the article is not about Kohli swearing or Ishant's screaming match. It is that the Indian angst is entirely misguided because their performances on the field are not up to scratch. The biggest success of Ganguly's India was that they gave all teams a lesson on the field and then talked the talk off it. A good example would be Sourav's shirt twirling after the defeat of England at Lord's. The point being they had substance. This Indian team has little purpose, drive, or determination. The thought-process both on and off the field is distinctly absent and there doesn't seem to be any short, medium or long term plan. What then is the purpose of these over-the-top antics as a display of the team's angst?

Posted by vvs167 on (January 27, 2012, 14:26 GMT)

Wonder what all of you made of India's decision to bring in the nightwatchman at the fall of Laxman's wicket..?

It seemed to have escaped the attention of the commentators after the Kohli's rush-of-blood causing a run-out. But sending in a nightwatchman in a Test series we've lost 0-3 already and well on the way to losing the 4th in the 2nd innings with all but one top-order wickets out in my view, is a reflection of the muddled thought process of the Indian captain/coach/manager whoever. They couldn't use some common sense by promoting Kohli to no 3 just for this last innings in the series; and now show how thoughtful they are by sending in a nightwatchman! ABSOLUTELY LUDICROUS..

Posted by   on (January 27, 2012, 14:19 GMT)

Great article, Sharda. 'Barking dogs seldom bite' is what has played out so far. Reading Gambhir's comments, I am rooting for English and Aussie teams to rout India in India, which I think is likely after the bigwigs retire - even though I am an indian fan. THeir poor mentality and sportsmanship is being reflected in their behavior and comments. People talk about how the seniors can mold and groom youngsters. Have gambhir, kohli and ishant learnt NOTHING from Dravid, Tendulkar and company about being graceful in defeat?

Posted by TheBengalTiger on (January 27, 2012, 13:52 GMT)

Riddiculous article. Why should Indians just stand there and listen? why not criticise the Austrlaians for sledging too? Its not just India you know.

Posted by Vilander on (January 27, 2012, 13:45 GMT)

Sharada with usual whinging, india cricketers need to play cricket and then talk. when you get beaten blue cope with it. Coming from a former indian fan,who decided to call it after permanent decline of yester year greats and two consecutive white washes.

Posted by Al_Bundy1 on (January 27, 2012, 13:24 GMT)

I told you so - SRT never plays when India needs him? But out pathetic supporters call him the GOD of Cricket. For what? Scoring centuries against Bangladesh and Namibia? In fact all three oldies - SRT, Dravid and Laxman - need to be dropped NOW. We need youngsters like Rahane, Rohit, Pujara, Mukund, etc. Look at Kohli - he was the only one who put up a fight. He might be a whiner, but I like his fighting attitude.

Posted by Kunal-Talgeri on (January 27, 2012, 13:05 GMT)

I found it hilarious albeit uncanny that Ben Hilfenhaus ran out Virat Kohli after the young Indian huffed and puffed in the 1st innings about being sledged from the inner circle. Drama queen. :-) Dark humour in an otherwise depressing series!

Posted by   on (January 27, 2012, 12:49 GMT)

Sweet article, this. Short, snappy and right to the point.

Posted by dinosaurus on (January 27, 2012, 12:47 GMT)

The most important truth about sledging is that an effective sledge has to contain humour! Sledging is not abuse it is making FUN. Kerry O'Keefe gave a great example on ABC radio today. He was talking about the net practice of the Indian batsmen and remarked that Dravid was late - he had been working with his Labrador - called Stumpy! That is a sledge!!!

Posted by mikey76 on (January 27, 2012, 12:47 GMT)

It did make me chuckle when Kohli was interviewed saying the aussies couldn't take sledging back from a 5 foot nothing rookie batsman and a skinny wicketless new ball bowler in Sharma. The Aussies will be laughing all night watching that over a few celebratory beers. India are an embaressment to their country with these performances. Even in the dark days of the the 90's England still managed to win the odd test in an ashes series due to professional pride, we certainly didnt have the batting riches of this Indian side. These guys are totally lacking in self respect and pride in their own performance. To fail to muster 300 on a shirtfront like Adelaide is a disgrace. I can't wait for England to tour next year and turn them over and then watch Kohli's reaction.Duncan Fletcher must feel like washing his hands of these clowns.

Posted by valleypf on (January 27, 2012, 12:17 GMT)

We Australians would say to the Indian team "If you want respect, earn it!" Give as good as you get, show some heart for the examination of your technique and mental strength that Test cricket demands or you will be exposed. You are merely cricketers here, not Gods like at home so don't expect to be treated as such. You underrated Australia and overrated yourselves, two big mistakes. It's not the size of the dog in the fight but the size of the fight in the dog that counts.

Posted by RogerC on (January 27, 2012, 12:13 GMT)

I wish India played with eleven Kohli-type players. At least they would have ended up with their self-esteem intact.

Posted by RJHB on (January 27, 2012, 12:09 GMT)

I think Kohli has shown that he has the character so many of his teammates have been unable to show for a long time. I'm a staunch Aussie supporter but I thought it was actually great watching and hearing him "give it back" to us, but much much more importantly, he backs up his words with talent, skill and fight. Gambhir is a pure clown, whose words are hollow and weak, which describes him to a tee! Next Indian captain? I hope not, for India's sake! You'll never ever get respect from Australia pal!

Posted by mosursubramaniankailash on (January 27, 2012, 12:08 GMT)

Road Mad for Indian Team: sehwag - needs to come up with a retirement plan gambir - should be given strict road map dravid - Must retire sachin - must retire kohli - Must be encouraged and be warned for his attitude. laxman - Sorry laxman....sad to see you like this....but to retire dhoni - Test credentials are to be seriously evaluated ashwin - need to get more exposure..... Must concentrate on his bowling.... zaheer - needs to come up with a retirement plan ishant - Need to get trained by kapil/wasim. yadav - need to get more exposure...and training

Future players: ( got to stick to these guys amidst test losses) Rohit sharma, Abinav mukund, Suresh Raina, Praveen Kumar, Ojha, Manoj Tiwari, Sreeshanth.

Posted by Rumy1 on (January 27, 2012, 12:05 GMT)

So we saw more of the same. Enough man.Time to rest Sehwag, Gambhir, Dravid, Sachin and Laxman. Clearly, Sehwag is the most irresponsible player in team. This is proved time and again. Good time to bring Jaffer, Badrinath, Pujara and Kaif for the Test series at home. Wasim Jaffer, Badri and Pujara would be a great blend. Kaif would be a great addition as well. Kaif has always been a captaincy material. Make him the Captain. Besides youngsters, you need some experience too. Both Kaif and Jaffer are in early 30s.Sounds much better than greats in 38s / 39s. Time to blood in Rohit Sharma too.Bring back Harbhajan. Ashwin remains an avg. Ranji level offie who has carrom ball. Ashwin stands sorted out by international batsmen including lesser mortals like Bravo,Chanderpaul, Russel, Rampaul, etc. Pragyan Ojha should also be brought back in. He is a much better bowler with lot more variation and skills than this Srikanth favorite - Ashwin.Time to confirm Saha as wk and bring I.Khaleel as 2nd wk

Posted by   on (January 27, 2012, 12:00 GMT)

kohli did the right thing, that actually missing in indian team from the begining. He is confident in his abilities.I think it time to switch to youngsters.

Posted by Y2SJ on (January 27, 2012, 11:55 GMT)

Unless Gambhir, Ishant and Kohli back it with performance, they will be just punks on the park. There are two ways to handle sledging and rude crowd. Either the Sachin/Dravid way of allowing the bat to talk and heap runs. Or they can take other option, sit and whine. Kohli can take inspiration from guys like Ambrose. Ambrose never sledged in his career. But his bowling did the talking. Time to show your aggression on the field where it matters..scoreboard.

Posted by kiranphy on (January 27, 2012, 11:51 GMT)

why sharda ugra always talk against indian and indian players. It is her habbit (bad) to criticize indain player always and put negative things about indian team.

Posted by Mervo on (January 27, 2012, 11:48 GMT)

Thanks Sharda for an excellent article. Kohli's double standards are exposed. I can only assume that his 'word' was directed at the crowd or even the Australian players? I suspect that his has a lot to learn. His performance in the second innings will be the start I hope.

Posted by PTtheAxis on (January 27, 2012, 11:46 GMT)

11 kohli's and india would be winning ... 11 sachin's or dravids' or dhoni's and they will keep on losing ... there you go.

Posted by   on (January 27, 2012, 11:24 GMT)

As a 'neutral' kiwi who has played with and against both Indians and Australians at lower grade cricket in a few countries, I have seen the Aussie mentality clash with the Indian mentality time and time again. Excuse the generalisations but:

Aussies cricketers often behave inappropriately and Indian cricketers simple can't handle it and over-react.

If Aussies realised/cared that the behaviour they think is okay is to most other cultures overly-aggressive and boorish, and at the same time Indians got over themselves and grew a thick skin, then all would be well.

On the ABC coverage today the Aussie commentator (maybe Taylor) was defending Siddle's sledging (which the Indian commentator was moaning about). Sums it up really. Aussies, grow up and behave, Indians, get over yourselves.

Posted by   on (January 27, 2012, 11:23 GMT)

Sharad Ugra is talking about a team that "takes" from everyone, just like the team of the nineties. Players of those era were the meekest. Look at Australian team, They don't care about how the world sees them, they do one thing and that's winning. they say and do far worse things than what Kohli, Sharma and others have done and said. They need to ruthless, match their words with performance. also a swear word is a swear word, that is, Its just a word, Its harmless. Who (except for Sharad Ugra and some feminists) cares what a player says on a cricket field as long as he is doing his job, picking wickets and making runs. They should play to win and not to please cricket writers and politically correct.

Posted by glance_to_leg on (January 27, 2012, 11:15 GMT)

Are n't people being a little prissy here about Kohli?

I would much prefer to see cricket played in a more sporting fashion, but it is a passionate business and tempers fray. I have never watched test cricket in Australia, but everyone I know tells me that large elements of the crowd are often decidedly hostile and unpleasant, perhaps especially to teams from the subcontinent. I have Australian friends - and I should stress that I am Australian by birth, but have lived in England for over forty years - who tell me that they do not like to watch cricket anymore because of casually racist remarks. I don't know how true this is, but I think Kohli should be cut a little slack in the circumstances.

That said, in future let's try to stop everyone (supporters, players, ... and cricinfo posters) from sledging, heckling and being offensive, and just enjoy a great game.

Posted by karthik_sc on (January 27, 2012, 11:13 GMT)

Excellent article Sharda. That referred Hindi profanity is now used by every young Indian cricketer after every wicket taken or 50/100 hundred scored. This is very childish behavior and looks ugly on screen. And we complain about Australian sledging. If the players don't want sledging they should use BCCI's influence and ban it. What I have also noticed is that the Aussies and others sledge without any noticeable body language, without getting into trouble with the match referees and with the sole purpose of breaking the opposition player's concentration. Indian's on the other had get very animated while sledging/abusing opponents indicating that they are playing to the galleries and more often than not get pulled up by the referee.

Posted by Nischal82 on (January 27, 2012, 11:09 GMT)

The behavior displayed by some of the Indian cricketers are very shameful. It is not a good sign that these outbursts are coming from the youngsters. They are there to play & not to fight. The sledging done by the Aussies are one of their game plan & it works wonderfully for them most of the times, but they do not sledge in isolation, they combine their sledging with their other game plans. We really have to get smater & get out of these emotional outbursts which is hurting our own team in its performance. Please take a note at these cricketers - Sachin, Dravid, Lakshman, Sehwag - did they ever show their frustruation while playing? May be very few times during their entire career. How well they have performed all these years is for everybody to see. I seriously believe most of our youth is lacking positive attitude, they do not come up with an open mind, always being defensive. The comments posted here by many also suggests that we tend to be very defensive.

Posted by Dashelan on (January 27, 2012, 10:55 GMT)

The modern Indian cricketer can talk the talk but cannot walk the walk. Welcome to the big wide world Mr Kholi.

Posted by InvisiblePJs on (January 27, 2012, 10:49 GMT)

As an Australian supporter I am thankful that Kohli has at least shown some passion for the contest, especially in the final 2 test matches (as evidenced by his anguish when walking off after being run out on day 4). One wonders if the series may have been closer had a few of the 'old guard' showed a bit more fight rather than meekly surrendering in each innings. Perhaps some more young blood may be what the flagging Indian side needs. I applaud VVS, Rahul & Sachin for their marvellous careers - but there is a time and a place for retirement; perhaps for all 3 this is now.

Posted by   on (January 27, 2012, 10:29 GMT)

as a non-Hindi speaker, all I want to know is what Kohli said. Will anyone say?

Posted by braveknight on (January 27, 2012, 10:26 GMT)

India is done and out - whats more damning is that 'they let the aussies out' of their beware englishmen, you are next in the firing line. I think Sachin, Dravid, and Laxman should all retire when some dignity and respect is left - it will be demoralising to see them cleaned up in another series..esp the kiwis are as capable as the ausiies, i'm sure steyn smells bhajis here..

Posted by george204 on (January 27, 2012, 10:24 GMT)

It doesn't mask anything - their inadequacy is plain for all to see, it just makes them look silly...

Posted by vijay_dinanath_chauhan on (January 27, 2012, 10:23 GMT)

Ganguly did it,but it looked good because under him the team was fighting and had learnt to win matches overseas, doing what they hadn't been able to do for the past 2 decades or so... You kind of lose the right to do antics if you are losing so badly

Posted by smudgeon on (January 27, 2012, 10:21 GMT)

Kohli's young, competitive and on his first tour to Australia. He'll grow into it, and as we all know (and the article says), the best way to get back at the crowds and opposition is with runs. Aussie fans are probably no worse than any other country's fans when it comes to giving stick to visiting teams (and their own players - ask Clarke & Haddin, in particular), but they also respect talented players who back up their confidence with performances - Laxman & Dravid are both highly respected for their fighting qualities and sublime batsmanship (and Eden Gardens), and both of them know these are their best weapons against sledging. I saw Kohli play a couple of beautiful wristy on-drives in his century, and was mightily impressed - not so much with his mouth. Let your bat do the talking, Kohli! I look forward to seeing how he comes along in the next few years.

Posted by OffStumpLine on (January 27, 2012, 10:17 GMT)

There is no shame in admitting that this is more a reaction to all the smothering that our boys have been subjected to day in and day out, on the field! The Aussies have played superbly (specially their bowlers and Ponting, Clarke) and we have played, well, poorly. I have no doubts that Kohli will learn from this tour and will be better for the experience. And the less said about Ishant the better. No one seems to be discussing / mentioning this, but IMO he has been a prime cause of us doing as badly as we have, on this tour. He has consistently bowled on both sides of the wicket and has always had 2 lengths - either full or short! It is obvious that he is just plain frustrated. In hindsight (and trying to find a silver lining, where potentially none exists!), I think his reaction is not all together a bad thing as it atleast shows that deep down, he is hurt!. For the sake of Indian cricket, hope that they are able to chanelise the hurt / anger in the right direction!

Posted by timmyw on (January 27, 2012, 10:15 GMT)

This article is correct in many ways. Many teams are hypocrates in terms of behaviour, not least of all the Indians. But I feel shame at being an Australian and watching people in crowds from my country behave this way towards international visitors, it's not good enough anywhere. Say what you like about Teams being abused or heckled and not taking it very well. There is a good reason for that, it's because it's abuse! That isn't ok anywhere be it on a cricket field or anywhere in life Australian or Indian, or American or Chinese. I believe this kind of behaviour should seriously be stamped out or at least have the bogans in the crowd think for one second, which they have never done and wonder what it would be like for them. I think it's understandable people reacting the way they have like Ghambir and Kohli. People are still human, test cricketer or anyone. Wake up, treat each other respectfully. The "if you can't bowl them out abuse them out" mentality was never OK and never will be.

Posted by kamran.afzal on (January 27, 2012, 10:15 GMT)

I have played some competitive cricket in early days, and agree that sometimes some of these mother-sister profanities do come out unintended, but they shouldn't adorn every 'achievement', and more importantly, one should never be proud of them. I never was. Also, the Indian crowd has proved itself to be the worst on many an occasion - quarter final and semi final of '96 WC come to mind, and this test match during Pakistan's last tour of India, when the stadium had to be vacated for the match to continue (and finish).

Posted by Sutiro on (January 27, 2012, 10:12 GMT)

Very honest article indeed. Thank you for being truthful about Kohli's use of words when he finally achieved something in Adelaide. His bird finger was directed at Indian supporters who rightly had paid out on him for his under achievement. Maybe he had a reality check and decided he should walk the walk before he sqalks the sqalk. He has improved greatly after that episode.

This team of great players is not a great team. They achieved number 1 by default. They simply filled a space that Australia vacated. They play as individuals but choke as a team. If Kohli is the future then India can look forward to more of this.;

Posted by stormy16 on (January 27, 2012, 10:09 GMT)

Storm in a tea cup this I reckon. The irony of this is the Australians are to blame for this. The brand of cricket they played in the dominant era has brought about some so called 'norms' in to the game which are not really norms but given the Aussies huge success as a team they have become norm. S Waugh termed it mental disintegration of the mind, others refer to it as 'part of the game' but the reality is the gentlemans game is not longer that. However when an Indian has an outburst its called 'road rage' but if an Aussie did the same thing it would called ' part of the game'. I also think the new generation of Indian players is not going to be smile and be bullied and they should not - after all its no longer a game played in that spirit and dont blame India for changing it.

Posted by Buggsy on (January 27, 2012, 10:07 GMT)

Bah, who cares. Kohli is young and green and this hammering and humbling by Australia is a good learning experience for him. The fact that he's copping left, right and centre from both the players and spectators while improving on the field is a testament to his mental strength. He'll mature in time, and I wouldn't be surprised to see him as captain next time India tours Australia. We Australians have more respect for Kohli than he realises. He's a fighter, we love that.

Posted by Sri_Iyer on (January 27, 2012, 9:59 GMT)

@ dj8585, I find your remark and condescension quite disturbing, not to mention the sheer sexist nature of your remark. Ms. Ugra is one of the few intelligent, thought-provoking and articulate cricketing journalists around in today's cricketing fraternity. And, if you saw the celebrations by the only Indian centurion on this tour, you would have realised that the bravado and aggressiveness was indeed quite misplaced (especially the profanity, which was quite easily lip-read) Aggressiveness is good in the game of cricket, but the Indians have a few examples of perfect gentlemen in the dressing room who are no less determined and aggressive but choose not to display the anger. Now that the world has seen how easily Virat Kohli can be rattled, teams will continue to abuse him to get him to react (as he proved by nearly getting out before he reached the century)

Posted by RogerC on (January 27, 2012, 9:57 GMT)

Why can't the author criticize the senior Indian stars for not performing? Targeting the weak ones like Kohli and Ishant for behaviour is convenient but naive. India didn't lose the series because of their behaviour. These kind of nonsense articles are also similar to showing the bird to the readers.

Posted by veenviz on (January 27, 2012, 9:56 GMT)

Was with u for most part of the article Sharda - but the conclusion could have been better. Remember, Saurav believed in giving it back and his team did India proud.

Posted by Daveptee on (January 27, 2012, 9:55 GMT)

Great article.On the spot.Nothing for Indian cricket aficionados to complain about. One of the best cricket writers around,along with Akash Chopra ! These two are miles ahead of Harsha Bhogle .

Posted by moBlue on (January 27, 2012, 9:41 GMT)

miss ugra, i respectfully disagree with your assessment. talk to sunny gavaskar when you get a chance. he will tell you of all the abuse the aussies, players and spectators alike, routinely heaped on him and the consummate gentleman, vishwanath, and their team-mates in the yesteryear when they toured. i like the fact that this new indian generation is having none of it! should they be paying the auusies back in the same coin? of course not. but at least they are not staying silent and putting up with abuse in the non-sensical excuse of "cultural sensitivity". gandhi was non-violent, but did not *not* resist! putting up with abuse is not - and should never be - a fabric of indian culture. i don't second treating the aussies badly when *they* visit india either! but fighting fire with fire in AUS should be par for the course!

Posted by gwd80 on (January 27, 2012, 9:40 GMT)

@dj8585 "Talk about over reacting and being overly sensitive." ok - I will. Virat Kholi is a sap and always over reacts and behaves in an overly sensitive manner whenever he is criticised or taunted. It's not nice to be wound up by the crowd (and shame on them) but it is an unfortunate fact of life as an international cricketer so man up and get on with it. Your final sexist comment just indicates that you've fallen into the same trap this article talks about the Indian players doing - whereby you lash out in an irrational manner because the truth hurts. These pitches are unfair (when they're not) - "We'll prepare turners at home" (you always did in any case! and fine - if you play this badly, you'll still lose) They said nasty things about my mother - I'll have a tantrum and then complain when I get fined about it, even though I already knew the code of conduct. I've pointed out that this behaviour is somewhat embarrassing - I'll criticise you on the irrelevant basis of gender.

Posted by tinkertinker on (January 27, 2012, 9:34 GMT)

The how dare the mean aussies sledge us act is wearing thin, india are up with the biggest talkers in the game yet they still complain to the media as victims, it's tired and boring.

This current india team seem delusional especially the younger guys, kohli still seems to think india are the ones closing in on a 4-0 whitewash, he's got the Aussies under the pump don't you know...

Posted by linusjf on (January 27, 2012, 9:34 GMT)

Agreed. But then you have to ask the question, what are the senior pros in the side for? Aren't they supposed to mentor the youngsters? Or is Chappell (Greg) right when he says that the debutants are in awe of their seniors and are mum until spoken to?

Posted by manikolbe on (January 27, 2012, 9:33 GMT)

Well said Ugra!!! I have seen several times Kohli whispering abuses in Hindi.. words referring mothers and sisters.. and I dont believe if someone said Indian crowds are decent towards fielders near boundary.. They should look up on Tendulkar too learn how to behave!!! not at BCCI admins..

Posted by SachinIsAGoner on (January 27, 2012, 9:33 GMT)

10 out of 10 to this article.

Posted by mixters on (January 27, 2012, 9:29 GMT)

Wow I never new some Indians thought this way, I have seen the best and the worst of Australian fan behavior. The Indian team all seem to be Hypocrites they get involved in trouble somtimes start it then want to be the victums. The Aussies start there own fair shar of trouble but never want to scream innocent afterwards. I am hounerd to read this article and many of the true fans of Indian crickets comments> Love your countries team (I do) but always except the truth and the facts as all real supporters of CRICKET do

Posted by   on (January 27, 2012, 9:28 GMT)

Kohli's behaviour reminds of a young Ponting on tour to India, barfight and all... Kohli is going to be the Indian Ponting, aggro behaviour and all... years later this series will be remembed as the face when old gave way for the new or atleast started the transition... LTD. stands for limited and how this is so true in India's case now!

Posted by   on (January 27, 2012, 9:17 GMT)

on most occasions I would certainly not agree with Sharada.. but this time I would... certainly yes..whingers..

Posted by EBPRSL on (January 27, 2012, 9:17 GMT)

Absolutely spot on. I was at the first two days of the Sydney Test and I think that the Indian team have been afforded plenty of respect while they have been on tour, especially Sachin who is given a standing ovation regardless of how many runs he has scored on the day. It is extremely frustrating to read negative comment after negative comment and the finger pointing (pun unintended) by Team India. The pickiness is really irritating and not becoming of a champion team. There is a lot of talk about the rivalry between India and Australia matching the intensity generated by an Ashes series. If that is going to become a reality then Indian cricketers (and administrators) need to project a far more mature image. This is after all Test match cricket not the hit and giggle of a 20 / 20 match.

Posted by rust01 on (January 27, 2012, 9:14 GMT)

@Moose44 I was at the SCG that day and was near those Indians. what surprised me is that Kohli seemed to know where the abuse was coming from but chose to blame Australians in the press conference.

Posted by Farce-Follower on (January 27, 2012, 9:09 GMT)

Nice article...Kohli is a kid...if he goes on like this, he will turn to cinder in his next tour. He better find some balance. And no potential advertiser wants spurious heroes - like Mr. Kohli and Mr. Gambhir.

Posted by rust01 on (January 27, 2012, 9:09 GMT)

@dj8585 the author is referring to Indians sense of outrage and injustice whenever they are sledges or abused, but think it OK when their team does it.

Posted by muski on (January 27, 2012, 9:08 GMT)

Its really unfair to Single out Kohli or Ishant. Yes as a lady you can get offended as its the mother or sister who is target rather than the father or brother. But that lies with the origins of our abuses. There is absolutely nothing wrong in them giving it back in the same language. We have lost all our self respect thanks to the 2 whitewashes in Eng and Aus. However that does not mean that the Aussie can rub salt into the battered wounds for non cricketing reasons. Kohli is THE future of Indian cricket- notwithstanding his stupid run out of today. He will mellow with age. However he is not going to be a Rahul Dravid or a Srinath who till take a mouthful from Donald or Mcgrath or Ponting. Times have changed and a new generation has evolved.

Posted by   on (January 27, 2012, 9:07 GMT)

Every country and every sport has it's share of Bondis on the Barbie. Even if they smell bad, it's only if you eat one that there is a bad taste - so don't. However, when it happens on the field of play with the intent of unsettling batsmen, umpires should be instructed to turn towards the scorers with five fingers on their shoulder. If a batsman infringes in the same manner, however unlikely it may seem, he can always be given out obstructing the field.

Posted by   on (January 27, 2012, 9:06 GMT)


The other thing that links the 3 is that they're from Delhi. That's got a lot to do with it.

Posted by on (January 27, 2012, 9:05 GMT)

@dj8585: You call swearing after taking a catch or making a century on placid wicket is emotions??? These are so called professionals and need to be role models for youngsters.. You shout, you yell, you cry that is outlet to emotions but this F words in english and B word in hindi is no way emotions, it is just overarrogance..

And let me tell you that specially in case of Virat, he does it in India as well after taking a simple catch on long on.. Same goes with Yuvraj and Harbhajan...

They try to show they are competetive, i knw this is the only way to show the intents by abusing someone's sisters and mothers..

Such people are never respected just like Aus team of a decade back with their arrogance inspite of their success were not given respect compare to Windies..

Posted by jackelk on (January 27, 2012, 8:53 GMT)

Sledging in cricket is part of the Australian culture infact 'sledging' or getting under someones skin is the Australian way fullstop. I know I lived there for six years. If the Indian players can not handle sledging from the crowd maybe they shouldnt be playing test cricket as it has been around for a long time . Just ask Sir Richard Hadlee although it did not seem to effect his game. Also the Australian public only respects teams that earn it.

Posted by irawan on (January 27, 2012, 8:42 GMT)

There is little doubt, in my opinion, that Sharda Ugra is one of today's best cricket writers. Her articles are clear sighted and hard focused. Her knowledge of the game is magisterial. And she's spot on about the epithet that would be given to a team that is behaving like India today. Whingers. The sad truth is that we are assisting to the end of what has been one of cricket's best ever batting line-ups. India has been blessed by having bastsmen of the calibre of Dravid, Tendulkar, Laxman, Ghambir, Sehwag (rigorously in this order) playing in the same years. The chapter has closed and it's time to move on. Talent is abundant in the subcontinent. The game's administrators should now focus more on nurturing that talent than making an easy buck with the IPL. Cricket is not a game for whingers, indeed. But as the saying goes, the fish stinks from the head.

Posted by rakaab on (January 27, 2012, 8:41 GMT)

The road rage does not seem to mask the inadequacies. It seems to add to them. Though, IMHO, that should be the least of the problems indian test cricket faces right now. The hunger is gone. The only hungry team out there is Pakistan. And that is not because they eat more chicken, but because nobody wants to visit them. Indian team needs a jolt of that order to rise to their potential. Unfortunately other teams need money more than Indian cricket players and hence these glorious defeats are bound to continue.

Posted by   on (January 27, 2012, 8:34 GMT)

Welcome to the club team India, for years the Indian fans have dished out abuse, not only in India, but even in Kenya !!! (when India wasnt even playing!)...its alot of fun when you abuse other players (one incident in kenya when pakistan were playing the Aussies, and the amount of abuse dished out to Shoaib was simply unacceptable!).....Im glad they are getting the bitter end of the stick...should teach them humility and also maybe in time they will learn to host visitors appropriately!...good article Ugra!

Posted by eyballfallenout on (January 27, 2012, 8:34 GMT)

I don't mind if the indian team sledge or be aggressive to gee themselves up, but what i don't like is the indian team and supporters having one eye and thinking they are angels and only Australia are bad. Well guys as someone said before probably the only team out there that can claim a moral stand is Sri lanka. Must say well written article thanks

Posted by Harry_Kool on (January 27, 2012, 8:33 GMT)

Wow Sharda Ugra. Great piece, no doubt it will upset some from the male bastion who pretend they know something about cricket. Intriguing article and a great perspective from another angle.

Posted by Harry_Kool on (January 27, 2012, 8:30 GMT)

Respect visiting teams & players Cpt.Meanster ? You mean like the way Andrew Symionds was respected with the monkey chants & taunts? Let he without sin, cast the first stone.

Posted by Rahulbose on (January 27, 2012, 8:28 GMT)

The feable physique of Indian players make all this posturing look even more ridiculous. David Warner vs Ishant sharma KO won't even last 1 round.

Posted by Chris_P on (January 27, 2012, 8:27 GMT)

@Cpt.Meanster. Not sure if you've noticed, but SRT, Dravid & VVS have been getting thunderous applause when entering & leaving the arenas around Australia. They are being respected in the usual way. They have shown they can perform under the pump & their aschievements have been recognized. Perhaps, when Kholi can emulate some of these greats, he may earn their thanks. Wow, you sure do have sour grapes about Aussies, don't you? At least our stadiums haven't racially villified a player like the disgraceful performance of your countrymen with Symonds, but wait, that was a mis interpretation of the Hindi language, wasn't it? Yeah right. Dream on pal.

Posted by ramli on (January 27, 2012, 8:26 GMT)

Is it wrong to express your feelings? No. In modern sport, this expression has been stronger and instant. Kohli backed it with on-field performance ... Ashwin's expression merely underlines the inability of seniors to enthuse the younger lot with hope ... Ishant's was out of his frustration of not taking enough wickets despite bowling well .. . and Gambhir's was a mere opinion ... so why make a mountain of a mole ... it was a collective bad performance by Indian cricket team .. leave it at that ... winning ways will be back ... soon

Posted by prime.lens on (January 27, 2012, 8:26 GMT)

While I'm saddened to see the greats bow out in such ignominy, the vain posturing from the younger lot has only increased my concern. Of course, India won't tour for the next two years, so we'll be back to our belligerent best, but we must remember that we've been beaten at home by all major teams while we still haven't won in SA or Australia ... ever. Until that happens, I will treat the achivements of Gavasker and Kapil Dev's teams from the late 70s - early eighties, and the India team that fought Steve Waugh's great Australians to a standstill in 2004 and made it to a WC final overseas in much higher regard than these "world champions."

Posted by sawifan on (January 27, 2012, 8:26 GMT)

@dj8585... wow, deriding her comments cos she's a woman. low. And i think u missed the point of the article. So often to Indian team whinge about the behaviour of others, yet in disciplinary terms, they are the worst team in the world. Yet people will call this some conspiracy as well. The point is India give just as well as they take, the difference being, most other teams leave it on the field. Matches between ENG-AUS, AUS-SAF, ENG-SAF, and even NZL would see worse sledging between the teams, yet there is never any complaint. India are the only team that complains about sledging! And i know someone will bring up the Andrew Symonds incedent, well 'racial' sledging is a step too far, and the Australia Cricket Board has suspended players for this (Lehmann), yet when it happened against IND, their board backed him. Play the game hard, and stop whinging!

Posted by Charindra on (January 27, 2012, 8:26 GMT)

As a Sri Lankan I can honestly say I have HATED the indian team since the early 2000s, when Ganguly started this whole "new, angry India" nonsense. But to his credit, he did manage to back it up with some great wins in SA, Aus and Eng. However, now it's just annoying, because a new generation has learned from those teams and are continuing to abuse opposition players and celebrate with profanities. Cricket is a man's game, but it's also a real man's game, not a game for immature boys trying to look aggressive on TV. I'm not so annoyed when Aus or SA or even Pakistan does it, because it comes a bit more naturally to them (although it's equally wrong) and it's obvious that they are not doing it just to look the part on the field. India should play the way they did in the 70s - 90s, and then up their game. I'm proud to be SL because our team doesn't engage in this sort of nonsense. We let the bats and the balls do the talking, and at worst retaliate, but almost never provoke!

Posted by aanilc on (January 27, 2012, 8:26 GMT)

Spot on, Sharda!This guy Kohli would do some justice to his massive talent by being a little humble and let his bat do the talking. It looks like all that IPL money and adulation has gone into his head. He has miles to go in his career and a bit of humility and patience will do him a world of good.

Posted by   on (January 27, 2012, 8:25 GMT)

Thank you Sharda, all this talk of Australian crowds, sledging and abuse is very hypocritical. I attended the last test match in Bangalore between these two sides and saw first hand how Ricky Ponting and other members of the team where treated by the crowd. What did Australia say in response? Nothing. Test Cricket is a tough game which should be played by tough cricketers in tough conditions. If the heat is too much get out of the kitchen. Maybe less money more training? Time to toughen up.

Posted by Number_5 on (January 27, 2012, 8:21 GMT)

A very interesting article and even more so coming from an Indian, some home truths indeed. I was very sad to hear Kohli's comments after being one of the 35,000 people who stood and applauded his century yesterday. Has the selection of some of the older players contributed to any of this? Is it time for some of the all time greats to hang up the pads and gloves for the last time? Aussie crowds are always "rowdy" surely the Indian team prepared for this prior to coming? Nothing about this tour seems to have gone right for India and their preparation and selection has certainly not helped. Maybe India should have their own Argus review but something tells me they wont have the ability to follow it through, stand up Indian fans and demand better from your team and administrators, you deserve it and they are far better than what we have seen this tour.

Posted by   on (January 27, 2012, 8:20 GMT)

You mean, why this kola very?

Posted by mhb1 on (January 27, 2012, 8:19 GMT)

tbh i thnk BCCI made a pact with ICC, BCCI said "give us the world cup as our so called legends/gods are gona retire soon we have to cheer them up with sumthng" ICC replied: "Ok boss gave us NOC that we are gona strip off the clothes of your team infront of the whole world" LOL

Posted by   on (January 27, 2012, 8:17 GMT)

Give a break.. They are humans just like any one of us..If Kohli has an habit of using an expletive which again is not directed to anyone, let it be..Kohli is performing & that is what matters..! How I wish Indian journalists had the imagination to think & write about the reasons for India's debacle in the last 7 tests instead of focusing on Character Assassination of the players..!

Posted by Shan156 on (January 27, 2012, 8:17 GMT)

@Cpt.Meanster, you have to be consistent. You cannot have it all your way. If Kohli is free to abuse, then don't whinge that other country players sledge. They do, you do, so it is fair. Do the Indian public respect visiting teams? What about the section of the crowd abusing Andrew Symonds then? Hilfenhaus said something nasty to Kohli, he responded, it is over right there and then. Why bring it unnecessarily in the press? And, if you think you did the right thing, say that openly and stop there. Why add a sentence that verbal battles are unnecessary? Kohli is no saint either, he used profane language against, of all people - no disrespect, a Bangladesh bowler who simply gave him a stare after a delivery. He had abused his mother/sister too - if you could lip read, he used that hindi word. This kid likes to give but cannot take. And, does he really want the crowd to be punished for making fun of players? He was punished because he is a player.

Posted by NP_NY on (January 27, 2012, 8:17 GMT)

Sharda, to fully understand the mindset of Kohli in that picture, you will need to play 4 test matches over 20 days (well, more like 16 days in in this series) with the knowledge that you are on the losing side the whole time. Kohli is 23 for God's sake. Sure, he should not flashed his finger at the fans, but give him a break for showing some emotion after the hundred, will ya?

Posted by   on (January 27, 2012, 8:15 GMT)

@Capt.Meanster...and how many foreign players have you seen flipping off Indian crowds or abusing them or complaining in press conferences about what the crowd was saying? Nothing wrong with being passionate...but a line has to be drawn...the rest of the teams like Aus, Eng, SA, Pak, SL and NZ seem to know how to be aggressive on the field without letting that spill into their reactions to the fans. I myself think aggression from Kohli is good if channeled the right way. The other point is that aggression should be a strategy to get the opponent's to focus on something else...not an uncontrolled reaction which is what we saw from Kohli against the fans. A lot of the time even if the Aussies of old like McGrath were being aggressive, they were internally calm and focusing on the game. The seniors need to do their job and talk to him...even if they dont make runs at least do the job of mentoring youngsters like Kohli.

Posted by cricketpurist on (January 27, 2012, 8:09 GMT)

Its time we the Indian cricket followers showed our sacred finger to our Team who have let us down and humiliated our country.

Posted by harmske on (January 27, 2012, 8:08 GMT)

well written...but it seems to me that there is no telling any of the indian cricketers these days. they are untouchable..

Posted by jaanson on (January 27, 2012, 8:06 GMT)

one thing is for sure. the umpires need to be proactive if onfield clashes are to be kept in check. unfortuntaely all umpires look the other way till players come eyeball to eyeball. today profanities are used more often in regular language so it may not upset the modern generation too much so its a surprise that kohli was shocked at what the ausssies the way when you talk of winning tests under ganguly how was that different from the early years? india had won tests in england west indies new zealand and australai before ganguly but had not won a seroes in australai and south africa and it did not happen under ganguly either so this talk of india being better travellers since ganguly is a bit of an exaggeration isnt it?

Posted by   on (January 27, 2012, 8:05 GMT)

Ms Ugra is spot on, respond with performance not profanities. If you can't take the heat, you know where you should not be.

Posted by   on (January 27, 2012, 7:58 GMT)

Sourav Ganguly stands vindicated. Timing is everything!

Posted by McGorium on (January 27, 2012, 7:57 GMT)

@ dj8585: Ah yes, "passion" and "expressing emotions". Like that ever translated into victory. Ugra is right. This is not passion, this is frustration. Their incompetence has been sorely exposed. 8 months ago, they were beating their chest claiming to be the world champions. Well, they're probably going to lose to all but the weakest sides. The person over-reacting isn't Ugra, my friend, is it is the people you support, and yourself of course. They're the ones who need to keep their pie-holes shut when they are in a ditch and to stop digging even more. The aussies of the Steve Waugh era had the performance to back up the aggro. Ganguly copied the aggro but couldn't copy the performance, and that culture has carried on, that those with a short fuse (Yuvi,Bajji,Gambhir etc) were confused with being passionate. Truth be told, they're just posers. There's hardly anything to back that up in terms of performance. But it's good TV/theatre because people like you lap it up and call it passion

Posted by AidanFX on (January 27, 2012, 7:57 GMT)

There is another aspect to this - The Indian team have long been criticised for being full of talent and star-started but lacking a good balanced team in the final analysis. Kohli's winging and saying the century was extra special because of the "abuse" is fine and ok to a degree. But the reality is his team were at this stage being slaughtered on the scoreboard - moreover as good as the hundred was - it was his first one. It seems the celebritism is still apart of Indian cricket in the younger generation - something that goes back along time now. I feel as though Kohli's naming of a player was nothing less than a low hit - (probably trying to throw him when he went out to bowl; not that he'd admit that). But more than anything it reaks of 'individualism' rather than a team first orientation. Meanwhile the despondency of Tendulka does nothing to convince me he is not more upset about his personal milestone.

Posted by   on (January 27, 2012, 7:56 GMT)

he said the exact truth "The most visible (and audible) public reactions - from Kohli, Ishant and Gambhir - though, are the extreme, illogical responses of road rage. Its lashed-out fury attempts to mask or distract from the general inadequacy visible on the field in England and Australia."

Posted by Sanj747 on (January 27, 2012, 7:56 GMT)

Nice piece and valid. Just saw Kohli being run out by Hilfy. What timing. As for Gambhir and Ishant they are pretty much poor. Thoroughly enjoyed Siddle getting Gambhir out. Issue of Siddle not improving seems to have been settled on the field by Siddle and not by the off field remarks of Gambhir. Gambhir's 2nd innings dismissal should how inadequate he is as a batsman. Don't think he can bat on flat turners either. Ishant Sharma needs to get himself sorted out. His average in test cricket stinks.

Posted by TimWriter on (January 27, 2012, 7:56 GMT)

Ma'am, you write delectable English! And, you are right, of course. There is the calm, confident and self-assured way of "giving it back," and then there's the immature and loser's way of doing it. No prizes for guessing which category Virat's outbursts belong to.

Posted by thinktank1 on (January 27, 2012, 7:55 GMT)

See sledging has to come naturally.. and kohli does it naturally.. He is not trying to be someone else.. his usual stuff is like that.. I am not sure about Ishant and Ghambhir. They both look ugly in sledging department.. and I believe that players need to perform on the field. That is ultimate. If you observe Australian players.. they have been playing like that from childhood.. sledging, competitive cricket and bullying comes naturally.. In the end they appreciate good and competitive cricket.. :)

Posted by warnerbasher on (January 27, 2012, 7:54 GMT)

Moose44. Similar thing regarding the South African issue a few years ago when one of their coloured players was racially abused in Australia. It was a group of expat South Africans launching a tirade of abuse at Duminy if I remember rightly. I was sitting 4 rows away and the comments were utterly disgusting. I believe that Australian crowds are fair, knowledgable and respect opposition players as evidenced by the ovations afforded to Tendulkar, Dravid and Laxman at all test grounds this summer. What they don't respect are seemingly thin skinned princesses unable to abide by the "what happens on the field stays on the field" principle. Princess Kohli had my mouth agape last night when he claimed he and Sharma had verballed the Australians yet had the temerity to scold our players for doing the same thing!!!! Wait until the coarser one day crowds get stuck into him.

Posted by   on (January 27, 2012, 7:53 GMT)

Could those who found this offensive please stop whining.I thought very good points were made.The score card is the most important thing to me,but after reading this article I am interested in what has been made of it all in the Indian press?

Posted by cricmatters on (January 27, 2012, 7:51 GMT)

Finally the torture is over. BCCI will forget this series as water off the back of the duck and move on to its cash cow 20-20 and limited overs cricket. BCCI fat cats will never own up to having very poor preparation for this series. Any blind bat can see why we lost and will continue to lose on overseas tours.

1) Having proper test openers who don't stick out their bat at wide deliveries or try to run it down to third man at every opportunity giving the slips catch practice. 2) Having a captain who wants to play Test Cricket and sets the fields accordingly. Test Match is all about planning for a wicket which requires fielders in catching positions, not to save runs. 3) Phasing out the middle order who have been found out by probing lines and disciplined bowling. 4) Bringing about a cultural change especially in the fielding dept..If you don't want to dive or bend your back to stop a boundary, play some other game. 5) Bring new comers and give them 3 tests to prove themselves.

Posted by   on (January 27, 2012, 7:49 GMT)

When Dada and Kumble quit - we lost aggression... When Gary quit - he took away all the motivation and self-belief.. These things are costing us dearly! So disheartening to see this legendary team lose time and again :( God save us!

Posted by inthebag on (January 27, 2012, 7:48 GMT)

Hilfy running Kohli out 2nd last over with a night-watchmen at the other end - priceless.

Posted by   on (January 27, 2012, 7:47 GMT)

BCCI & Selectors here is a piece of advise to you: Don't allow any sentiments to play why taking any decision. Just force sachin, dravid & vvs out of the team with immediate effect. These players shouldn't represent any other match for India at any level and in any form of the game. They have done enough and now consistently failing enough to be left out & retire (or force to retire). wake up! will you?

Posted by Imz25 on (January 27, 2012, 7:47 GMT)

Boom! Honest and Blunt. Well written!

Posted by   on (January 27, 2012, 7:44 GMT)

What you have written here ma'am, will bring you truck-loads of criticism from a section of Indian fans. But majority of sensible people, who have lived their lives in and around cricket will tend to agree with you. This is not the 'new India' Sourav Ganguly brought out, nor the one MSD so beautifully turned into gold. This is a result of being too big for your shoes a bit too soon. For Gambhir to have his presence actually felt in the cricket arena, he needs to stop 'poking' at everything around him(pun intended). I just hope things change for the Indian team, for the better, both off and on field.

Posted by nskaile on (January 27, 2012, 7:42 GMT)

i just wonder whts soooo wrong with showing ur emotion after scoring century? :S im not the biggest fan of kohli's attitude but seriously? why u guys expect eve player out there to behave like dravid or sachin? eveone is diff and got diff personalities and diff ways to do their things.

Posted by kosm on (January 27, 2012, 7:39 GMT)

Not really a surprise that someone that would be unduly annoyed by this article would make such a childish comment as "Maybe you should stick to writing about women's cricket."

Obviously you missed the point of the article completely dj8585, it wasn't that being passionate and expressing emotion were wrong, it was about how and when these displays happened, and how things are seen when the shoe is on the other foot.

You talk about not being overly sensitive while being overly sensitive about the message in the article. Get a clue.

Posted by yoogi on (January 27, 2012, 7:37 GMT)

I didn't see the author or her sex till I came to comments section and every word makes sense. Perhaps the new India itself is RUDE,not just the team, it seems by the comments. I am an Indian and I cant be doing all this in front of my father or my kid. when a team writes off a single loss as one-off it is apparent that they wont learn anything from that loss and they wont get any better. Now if people start to accept the fact that touring tough countries is a difficult task, and if only answer is in home tests, then God cant save them even if he wants to. This team has attitude problems on several fronts.

Posted by vint on (January 27, 2012, 7:29 GMT)

I think no player should be abused personally from the fans nor opposition players... u got to realise that it is only some idots that yell out this kind of abuse most australians including me are respectful of the players... Fans should realise that its the test team that is in disarray, the one day team is absolutely world class... Reason is that the average age of the players is in the mid 20's...

Posted by 9ST9 on (January 27, 2012, 7:27 GMT)

All cricketers around the world are subject to abuse when they tour or even at home. There is no reason to over react. In 2010, Sri Lankan fans called Yuvaraj Singh a 'Water Boy' and he complained and the police chucked the supporters out of the ground that was totally uncalled for - these guys are adults now they should learn to cope with it why can the rest of the world cope up with insults and the Indians can't handle it?

Posted by Ross_Co on (January 27, 2012, 7:25 GMT)

Firstly, just to say that it hasn't just been the Indian players - Haddin had some supremely uneccessary things to say. The bottom line though is that Australia started playing better in India when they made the decision to stop whingeing & just get on with it. In this series I think some Indian players and supporters started with the 'wait till you come to India' stuff while the first test was still in progress! Whingeing doesn't win tests - it loses them.

Posted by sachin1bradman2 on (January 27, 2012, 7:24 GMT)

I think we should guard against sermonising, it wasn't such a big deal! This is competitive sport we're talking about, so lofty idealism doesnt quite fit in. Yes Kohli's reaction was a bit intense, but I don't see anything morally wrong with it. Did anyone notice the immediate impact it had on Siddle when he started screaming at one of his own teammates for allowing Kohli to get back on strike? So the purpose was served, the tables were (ever so briefly) turned, a slight psychological victory was achieved. That's why Harbhajan has done well against the Aussies, he thrives in a battlefield type scenario. India need more players like these blokes if they want to compete with the gladiatorial australians. The way Laxman and Dravid (two undisputed legends of the game) walk out into the middle these days, shows that they've got no fight left in them anymore. There's too much baggage of past achievements in this Indian batting line up, some new blood needs to be infused.

Posted by   on (January 27, 2012, 7:14 GMT)

Meanwhile, the Indians have finally done it! Great! They have taken a test match to the 5th day!

Posted by rahulcricket007 on (January 27, 2012, 7:01 GMT)


Posted by candyfloss on (January 27, 2012, 6:53 GMT)

Is it only Kohli who swears out of all cricketers? Did any one not see how he was needlessly provoked just a few minutes earlier when dived to get back in the crease when he was on 99 ??

Posted by   on (January 27, 2012, 6:50 GMT)

very well said, we burn effigies, stadiums when we're losing, fight back with anyone who is against us even if they are telling the truth, shame on us!

Posted by ImpartialObserver on (January 27, 2012, 6:48 GMT)

Couldn't have been truer Sharda. All this talk about giving it back, is just ridiculous. It might be oft repeated, but these younger folk must look at the very people who took India to the top, viz, Sachin, Dravid, Anil, Lax, even Dhoni and Sehwag to an extentl (Even Ganguly looks meek compared to Kohli's celebrations): none of them were "over the top" characters. If Kohli feels like making all this hue and cry for making a century now, imagine what Sachin should have done, when he SAVED A MATCH when he was just 17 years old. And I don't think the crowd had saints and mothers who all wanted to cuddle Sachin or throw him teddy bears! And what of Dravid and Anil? India were getting beaten like the dickens even then. These characters channeled their anger in the required direction. Ganguly, gave a fighting character to the team. He was restrained too. I don't see a winning India in the near future. Let them win only on their spinning track. Everyone has the pressure of his job!

Posted by Abhiramb on (January 27, 2012, 6:44 GMT)

Couldn't agree with Sharda Ugra more! Very well said...A few more points 1) These choicest of abuses have been uttered by younger generation players and you can observe that when they take catches, bowl someone out or score a century! Kohli is no exception. You would not see Sachin, Rahul, VVS, Dhoni, Sehwag do that - EVER!. It has got to do with one's early childhood environment. 2) When I see these over the top celebrations on scoring a century, I wonder if this would happen in any other sport - for example, would you see a footballer going over the top scoring a last minute goal -even when it is his first international goal- when his team is down 10-0? Or a tennis player going ballistic when he breaks a federer serve when he is down 0-6,0-6,0-5? Cricket is a peculiar game and personal milestones seem to matter a lot!

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas_Atheist on (January 27, 2012, 6:31 GMT)

I agree with both Ugra and Cpt.Meanster. That's the irony. Both of you are correct, IMO. But, the Greatest Sir would be definitely heartbroken to see this bad player behaviour, be it Indian or Australian or any team. No respect for your opponent means no respect for the game. There will be bad apples in every crowd. Let's not focus on them. Let's focus on the players. What's this thing of players saying that this is how we play our cricket? What's the point then in having Bradman Oration and remembering The Greatest Sir, if such a remembrance can't make the players to stop and think for a second and bring about a change in them? I'm deeply disturbed at the on-field sledging between the players. A player who sledges has to be warned once and if he repeats it, redcard for him from the ongoing match with no replacements allowed plus ban him for 2 series every year for 3 years. By saying that sledging is acceptable and that it is historical, we are just saying that two wrongs make a right.

Posted by vinchester on (January 27, 2012, 6:29 GMT)

GUess its time to say goodbye to VVS & RAhul; even if they score heavily , the men who matter should move on and bring in Rohit , pujara & othernew faces. This is the right time as we now play at home the next 2 years.

Posted by   on (January 27, 2012, 6:23 GMT)

Well said, Ms. Ugra. When the quality of the cricket is good, some bad behavior can be excused or even enjoyed. When you play like a lost club team, however, it only makes you look like a bunch of spoilt brats, which, frankly, is exactly what this team is.

Posted by   on (January 27, 2012, 6:22 GMT)

this issue is over hyped! he was under pressure and did it. its futile to try find some else big meaning in it about young indian cricketers!

Posted by andrew-schulz on (January 27, 2012, 6:18 GMT)

What is this? An Indian journalist not forming part of the cheer squad. Offering criticism where it is due? There is still hope. Well done, because this Indian side (and management, and board, and supporters) deserve far more criticism than has ever been offered. They have been pathetic.

Posted by   on (January 27, 2012, 6:16 GMT)

OK when the Aussies do it you people don't have the balls to write or talk about it. One spunky little Indian kid did it and gave it back to them in their own backyard and our own people do not support him for this. After all he did it after he hit the century..didn't he? What's wrong with you people...what if that motivates him, what if that gives him the added spark to perform in the subsequent games....well done Virat...I am with you buddy...and don't listen to losers like Gavaskar...he is an a self absorbed prick. You did a lot better than our seniors who should be given walking sticks now.

Posted by crikbuff on (January 27, 2012, 6:14 GMT)

A wonderful eye-opener! Yes - the team's performance has been pathetic and their behaviour and attitude has been shameful! Our cricket-crazy nation should open their eyes and stop idolising these cricketers. These guys are far from role-models!

Posted by popcorn on (January 27, 2012, 6:13 GMT)

You conveniently forget the abuse showered by Harbhajan Singh on Andrew Symonds, and worse still, Sachin Tendulkar, who I lost respect for, after he said, Harbhajan was not saying MONKEY, but a word that EVERY INDIAN (but no Australian) knows insults a person's mother.

Posted by Stone-Aamir on (January 27, 2012, 6:07 GMT)

Excellent article Sharda, actualy the extraordinary media promotion has converted the players into super humans. Although all players love the status but they must realize that they have to bear the load of big failures outside rather then complaining about the conditions and crowds. Otherwise they can choose only to play in home series where they think they can destory any opposition.

Posted by Percy_Fender on (January 27, 2012, 6:05 GMT)

It is ironic that in the midst of a disastrous tour, Virat Kohli has had to let his real self coe out in the open. As long as he was failing he did 'nt see the need to resort to these pyrotechnics. In Indian cricket, behaving boorishly was never done till that public display of his shirtless body by Saurav Ganguly. He too had mouthed a string of abuses on that occasion.But surprisingly no one wrote about that except in amusement It was seen as par for the course by many people who wanted India to jetison their docile schoolboy image.It was seen as the new beginning and it did seem so to most of usThe 2003/04 series in Australia underscored the need to be aggressive on the field whatever that may mean.And so we had the Harbhajans and the Yuvis give vent to their expressions in a manner not seen in India It is that which Kohli feels he is perpetuationg.Of a champion justifiably heaping abuse on lesser mortals What he forgets is that India are on a sorry loss. The anger seemed foolish

Posted by Krishna_M on (January 27, 2012, 6:03 GMT)

A very appropriate piece and one that needed to be written. The likes of Kumble, Gavaskar, Sachin, Dravid etc were/are extremely tough competitors who never needed to show crude and misplaced aggression like this. Apart from Kohli's knocks in Perth and Adelaide none of these three delivered on the field and it's just better to keep quiet and look at oneself in the mirror than spout profanities every other day. The crass celebration after the century took away a lot of the sheen of the innings and must have made some of the seniors in the team cringe. Finally, don't want to stereotype anyone but is the behaviour from the three a general reflection of what the city they hail from has become in recent years? Viru has always been an exception.

Posted by dj8585 on (January 27, 2012, 6:00 GMT)

What's wrong in being passionate and expressing your emotions? Whingers?? Road rage??? Talk about over reacting and being overly sensitive. Maybe you should stick to writing about women's cricket.

Posted by Nemo2011 on (January 27, 2012, 5:58 GMT)

Goss...this gentle-lady can do some witching!!

Posted by   on (January 27, 2012, 5:57 GMT)

now it is the chance that seniors shld resign to save their good names...likesof rahane fr laxman, rohit for dravid, mukund for ghambir...they shld have tested these now in in england in 1996 when india lost first test badly, dravid and ganguly on debut made a power ful one.

Posted by   on (January 27, 2012, 5:54 GMT)

Very well put. All this Indian youngster's 'Road Rage' can be attributed to the ill effects of IPL and the fast money that it is bringing them. There is no hard work, technique, dedication or professionalism. Just the Bollywood hype and charisma (not genuine) is what is needed for the T20 circus.

Posted by   on (January 27, 2012, 5:48 GMT)

Before all the Indian fans start to criticize this article, let us be clear, this happens not just against Australia, England, NZ or SA, but has also happened against Pakistan and Sri Lanka (you can understand what I am coming to say). Yes, in the recent past we have seen Indian cricketers getting involved in verbal fight against Pakistan and SL teams as well. A lot of Indian fans are under the impression that its always the Australian cricketers and crowds who are provoking the Indian players that prompts the Indians to indulge in such bad behavior. Its a misconception. On any ground in India, Indian crowds are equally bad behaving - only difference, the Australian fans abuse in English and are easily picked up by opponents, but in India visiting sides get abused in various regional languages that they dont understand anything and hence the Indian crowds get away with their bad conduct. Sri Lankans are the best behaved team and thats why they won the ICC "spirit of the game" twice.

Posted by dunger.bob on (January 27, 2012, 5:38 GMT)

Please don't take this the wrong way. Its just an observation, not a criticism. I've been watching cricket for 35 years and one thing I've noticed about Indian teams is that they seem to be at their most competitive when they have a sense of moral outrage about something or other. They seem to need a righteous cause to rally behind before they can get going. I'm not saying they stir things up deliberately, but they DO seem sharper when "stuff" happens. ... Oh well ..In for a penny, in for a pound ....

If Kholi tweeted later that "the crowd had said the "worst things" about, surprise, surprise, mothers and sisters." then it must have been ex-pat Indians giving it to him because its just not something your average Aussie would say. Believe me, I'm an expert on Aussie profanities and it just doesn't ring true. Maybe he misheard or misinterpreted some other thing that was said. Something like that happened to Andrew Symonds didn't it?

Posted by   on (January 27, 2012, 5:28 GMT)

Very good at pointing out the ridiculousness of all this posturing by India. Back it up with performances boys! Sharda, excellent job at writing a balanced piece and keeping nationalistic jingoism out of it.

Posted by Moose44 on (January 27, 2012, 5:25 GMT)

I have been told by an Indian friend that the people abusing Kohli in Sydney were Indians who had traveled to watch the test, he was one of them.

Posted by LillianThomson on (January 27, 2012, 5:17 GMT)

A large part of the problem is cultural. Before the days of Kerry Packer, it would have been unthinkable that from 1982-1992 the world's best two Test sides would be West Indies and Pakistan. But it happened, and it happened because the entire West Indies team - plus Imran Khan and Javed Miandad - played the toughest, nastiest cricket of their lives against the best players in hostile conditions. Many other cricketers couldn't handle the heat - Tony Greig and Zaheer Abbas spring to mind - but the best cricketers rose to the top. Imran's legacy lasts to this day. But India has no such influence. The ageing batting greats have been rather aloof and self-absorbed and have numerous defeats under their belts, offset only by a home World Cup victory and a few months at number 1. There is no Imran or Ian Chappell or Viv Richards whom the next generation can respect as a great champion as well as a great player. So Kohli and Gambhir and Ishant posture away like buffoons, trying to look tough.

Posted by   on (January 27, 2012, 5:07 GMT)

Keep quite, Ma'am. You are talking too much truth. Neither the Indian cricketers nor the Bcci likes it. Indian cricket team and the board is slowly becoming the epitome of unfairness and power misuse and wrong circketing behavior... But worst part is we also want to be known as the SAINTS and hope to make other countries look like that... For eg, would we Indians have tolerated if Australian proudly projected their public burning Efigies of 72 year old umpires from our country... Unfairness isnt new to India... Fact is we are the Worst team, worst board and worst fan set... Worst media barring people like you who have the courage to speak the truth. And by WORST I MEAN BEHAVIOR WISE... No other board uses money, no other fans burn efigies and no other player gets sympathy for racism or flipping the birdie...

Posted by Mitcher on (January 27, 2012, 5:03 GMT)

Boom!!! (Got to get to 25 chars).

Posted by desi1 on (January 27, 2012, 5:02 GMT)

Please write more on cricket than cricketers, if not for media half of these things would not be public, media should take more responsibility and present news which are really worth publishing. What the cricketers do off the field is not why we watch them, and there are better writers to follow for non-cricket stuff.

Posted by The_Wog on (January 27, 2012, 4:57 GMT)

Kohli needs to watch that footage of Indian crowds chanting "Symonds is a monkey" over and over to get a bit of perspective, and then learn what NOT to say in a press conference.

Posted by unregisteredalien on (January 27, 2012, 4:49 GMT)

Excellent piece Sharda. Whilst it is tempting to make excuses for the visitors who have had a tough time of it on the field there's no denying some of the behaviour has been pretty immature and its retrospective justification (by some players and fans) suggests a lack of honest self-reflection. It's never too late for any of us to grow up a bit so I hope your words are given their due consideration.

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (January 27, 2012, 4:38 GMT)

Well Kohli is an angry young man Sharda, so WHAT ?!! I love his demeanor. We need more cricketers from India like him. He's a fighter. He deserves to be angry because it's his personal choice. You don't need to write an entire piece to convince Indians otherwise. If the Aussies toured India and were abused by the crowds then LET them be angry. This game is no longer a 'Gentleman's sport'. That ended with the retirement of Don Bradman and other great cricketers of his era. Now it's a war out there. Survival of the fittest is the name of the game. Each player has different ways to fight it out. Kohli has his bat and his mouth which is not necessarily a bad thing if he's able to consistently perform. Besides, most Aussies chirp constantly. If you had a parrot and an Aussie together you wouldn't be able to tell the difference. You have bad crowds everywhere not just in India. The Aussie public needs to respect the visiting teams first if they claim to be a fine sporting nation.

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