Tim WigmoreMon, 15 February 2021, 4:30 pm
Virat Kohli is at risk of being banned from the third Test after remonstrating with umpires at the end of the third day in the second Test.
Kohli and Ravi Shastri both exchanged words with the umpires after an lbw verdict against Joe Root remained against India, after the DRS system ruled it was umpire’s call on impact.
Kohli already has two demerit points on his record across the last 24 months. If he was found guilty of dissent by the match referee in Chennai, Javagal Srinath, he would be sanctioned with between one and four demerit points, depending on the severity of the offence. Should Kohli receive two demerit points, he would receive a one-match suspension.
Article 2.8 in the ICC’s Code of Conduct covers “dissent at an umpire’s decision”. It states: “It shall not be a defence to any charge brought under this Article to show that the umpire might have, or in fact did, get any decision wrong.”
Kohli’s conduct led to criticism from former England captains. “Virat Kohli’s having a real go at the umpire. You can’t have this, I’m sorry,” said Michael Vaughan. “Kohli is such a powerhouse, you can’t have him intimidating the umpire. It’s a stinker of a decision but you can’t be doing that as a captain. That’s a bad look.
“I think Virat Kohli goes looking for that. He needs that in his game. India like to think people are against them, they like the confrontation. It’s danger time for the England team.”
Andrew Strauss also criticised Kohli’s behaviour, saying: “It’s not Virat’s place to say, ‘Why did you make that decision?'”
England spin coach Jeetan Patel said that Kohli’s behaviour “revs up the crowd. He gets really involved and it’s probably one of his strengths. I feel he plays at his best when he’s passionate and he’s excited about what’s happening, and he’s got his influence.
“That’s the way he gets the best out of himself, the way he gets the best out of the crowd and his team-mates follow him. That’s India at their best in India.”
Patel said he was “hopeful” that Moeen Ali’s love of Test cricket was back after Moeen took 4-98 in India’s second innings to take his tally to eight in the match.
“I love watching him bowl at any form of cricket and I think he has a lot to offer this group, especially around the changing room. So, I hope that it’s enough of a carrot for him. I suppose the one thing that Mo wanted, well needed, out of red-ball cricket was a bit of love from the game. I think he’s got that. Hopefully he will score some runs and really fall in love with red-ball cricket again.”
It remains undecided whether Moeen will remain in India for the remainder for the Test series or go home to rest before returning for the Twenty20 series. Moeen previously said: “I think I’m due to go home at some stage during the 3rd and 4th but we’re not 100 percent sure yet.”