Five Cricketers Who Were Mercilessly Sledged By Kohli

| Updated: 04 July, 2022 11:52 pm IST

Virat Kohli is all fire and brimstone on the field. In his long international career, the fiery cricketer has had a host of eyeball-to-eyeball confrontations with several cricketers. Not the one to pull his punches, the former Indian cricketer has indulged in ferocious verbal jousts on several occasions. Here we look at five such instances –

1) Jonny Bairstow: The most recent target of Kohli’s verbal wrangling was England batsman Bairstow who is in the middle of a red-hot form. On Day 3 of the ongoing Edgbaston Test, Bairstow was a tad sedate early in his innings. He wasn’t looking wholly comfortable at the crease. At that point, Kohli decided to poke him. Referring to Jasprit Bumrah, against whom Bairstow was looking uneasy, Kohli pointedly said, “A bit faster than Southee, eh?”.

Bairstow also signalled at him with his gloved fingers about how he was simply yapping away. Kohli then gestured to him to keep quiet and focus on batting. The sledging by Kohli fired Bairstow up and he suddenly started asserting himself domineeringly. Eventually, he made 106 runs off 140 balls.

2) Rubel Hossain: A young Virat Kohli tore into Bangladesh’s medium-pacer Rubel Hossain during his first World Cup match in 2011. After the right-hander defended one of his balls, the bowler glared at him. Kohli wasn’t amused and unleashed verbal expletives. “B******, go and bowl,” he said impudently. Later, Kohli went on to make an 83-ball hundred in the match as India coasted to a huge victory.

3) James Faulkner: During the third ODI between Australia and India in 2016, the medium-pacer Faulkner started needling Kohli by daring him to score runs off his bowling. The belligerent Kohli was in no mood to entertain silly tantrums.

“There’s no point, I’ve smashed you enough in my life. Now, just go and bowl,” a visibly annoyed Kohli retaliated.

4) Kesrick Williams: The Caribbean medium-pacer broke into his customary “notebook” celebration after he dismissed Kohli in a T20I match in 2017. The spitfire Kohli isn’t the one to forgive and forget slights. In 2019, when both the teams locked horns again for the T20 series in India, Kohli made mincemeat of Williams by clouting him for 3 sixes and a four. In an act of vengeance, he disparagingly mocked Williams’ trademark celebration.

“Williams had given me the notebook when he dismissed me in Jamaica, so I remembered it from there. We gave each other a high-five later. Play hard but respect the opponent,” he said after the match.

5) James Anderson: Kohli and Anderson have been engaged in some enthralling battles on the field. In the 2014 Test series in England, Anderson tormented Kohli by dismissing him four times. Later, in 2018, Kohli learned his lessons and dominated Anderson throughout the series.

In 2021, during the second Test at Lord’s, the two were constantly having a go at each other and exchanged a series of verbal volleys. In England’s second innings, Kohli told Anderson not to run on the danger zone of the pitch. Anderson murmured something unpleasant which riled Kohli up.

“You’re swearing at me again, are you? This isn’t your f***ing backyard,” Kohli lashed out at the seamer. Anderson continued to irk him with his comments which prompted Kohli to furiously say, “Chirp chirp chirp. This is what old age makes you.”

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