Lahore: Former Pakistan captain Rashid Latif said in a YouTube video that opposition would be better off if they don’t engage with Indian captain Virat Kohli in a verbal duel. Latif recalled India’s series in Australia in 2014, which was when Kohli took over the Test captaincy from M.S. Dhoni after the latter retired from the longest format of the game before the fourth and final Test of the series in Adelaide.
India lost the match but came close to chasing their second innings target of 364 thanks to Kohli’s 141. In the first innings, he scored 115. The Australians, particularly fast bowler Mitchell Johnson were sledging Kohli throughout the series and the Indian captain ended up taking Johnson to the cleaners.
“In 2014 series, when Dhoni retired after two Tests. Then there was one Test, in which Virat Kohli scored two tons in each innings. In that match, Mitchell Johnson stepped up to Kohli, and you will see Kohli’s reaction was not defensive,” said Latif.
“There are some players you don’t mess with. We had Javed (Miandad), Viv Richards, Sunil Gavaskar. Today, Virat Kohli is one such player.”
Latif then gave the example of India’s recent T20I series against the West Indies. Kohli was irked by fast bowler Kesrick Williams’ notebook celebration, which the latter had used on him in a 2017 T20I in Jamaica.
India needed a whopping 208 runs to win and ended up chasing it down with eight balls in hand thanks to Kohli’s 94 off 50 balls. He imitated Williams’ notebook celebration at one point after hitting a six off the fast bowler.
“Recently, in a T20I match against West Indies, a left-arm pacer (actually, it was a right-arm pacer Kesrick Williams) said some words to him. Even though, Kohli does not score too many runs in T20Is, but he went on to play a great innings in that match. There are certain players you don’t mess with during a match,” Latif said.