India skipper Virat Kohli has admitted that he had to beg in order to avoid what could have been a possible ban during the Sydney Test against Australia in 2012. During the 2012 series in Australia, Kohli was caught on camera showing a middle finger to the Australian crowd, the image of which had appeared in the newspapers across the world the very next day.Also Read - Sourav Ganguly on Virat Kohli's Decision to Give up Team India Captaincy in T20 Format After World Cup, Says I Was Surprised
In an interview with Wisden Cricket Monthly, the 29-year-old said that is one of the episodes he would like to forget. “The one thing I remember most is when I’d had enough of the Australian crowd at Sydney [in 2012] and I just decided to flick a [middle] finger at them,” he recalled. Also Read - T20 World Cup: It's a Morale-Boosting Match, Says Shoaib Akhtar As he Reveals Why it is Important For Pakistan to Beat India
“The match referee [Ranjan Madugalle] called me to his room the next day and I’m like, ‘What’s wrong?’ He said, ‘What happened at the boundary yesterday?’ I said, ‘Nothing, it was a bit of banter’. Then he threw the newspaper in front of me and there was this big image of me flicking on the front page and I said, ‘I’m so sorry, please don’t ban me!’ I got away with that one. He was a nice guy, he understood I was young and these things happen,” Kohli said. Also Read - T20 World Cup: Mushtaq Ahmed Reveals Plan to Topple Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma in India vs Pakistan Match
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When Kohli came out at the international stage, he was invited a lot of criticism and accumulated quite a few negative headlines because of his “aggression”. However, since then, the current India skipper has simmered down considerably and now he believes in performing more with the bat.
“I really laugh at a lot of the things I did when I was younger but I’m proud that I did not change my ways because I was always going to be who I am and not change for the world or for anyone else. I was pretty happy with who I was.”
Kohli has been leading the national side in Test cricket since 2014 and took over as the ODI and T20I captain in January 2017 after Mahendra Singh Dhoni stepped down from the role. He said that he is hoping to help youngsters avoid making the mistakes he made.
“I look forward to guiding the young guys in the team to not make the same mistakes that probably I made when I was their age because I want them to have three more years of quality cricket compared to going up and down, struggling here and there and then finally finding their feet,” he said.
“If I see someone making the same mistakes that I committed and I cannot correct them, then it’s my failure. If I choose to stay quiet I’m not really doing my job. You don’t want to suffocate anyone but the mistakes I made early in my career, I would not like to see youngsters make them more than once, because that’s just wasting such an important phase of their lives and careers,” he added.
India would be touring Australia for a two-month long tour beginning November 21, 2018 where they would be playing three T20Is, four Tests and three ODIs. The last time India toured Australia for Tests was in 2014-15 when Dhoni quit Test captaincy midway and handed the reins to Kohli. The hosts ended up winning the series 2-0.