There is little to stop Indian skipper Virat Kohli when he is firing on all cylinders. While most admire the ‘unleashing of animal spirits,’ some like former Indian wicketkeeper-batsman Farokh Engineer believe that the skipper’s aggression should be within limits, especially when engaging in verbal spats.
It was Kohli’s constant heckling of James Anderson that possibly unnerved England and they lost the plot during the second Test at Lord's. Set a target of 272, England were bowled out for 120 on the final day.
“The tension in the field in our second innings, what happened there, helped us,” Kohli had said after the game.
"I admire Virat for that. He has been an aggressive captain. It's good. Of course, it has to be within limits. Otherwise, the umpire or the match referee can intervene," said Engineer in a conversation with Sports Tak.
He added, "Maybe sometimes, yes (on toning his aggression down). He gets a bit too carried away, at times. But I like his aggression. He is a very good captain. I am all for it. He is I think one of the finest batsmen in the world."
But Kohli’s spitfire persona does not seem to impress former England opener Nick Compton. Refusing to mince words, he slammed Kohli as “the most foul-mouthed individual” and praised England and New Zealand skippers, Joe Root and Kane Williamson, as ‘’level headed’’.
38-year-old Compton, who has represented England in 16 Test matches between 2012 and 2016, also recalled an incident -- a throwback to the 2012 Test series in India. “I’ll never forget the barrage of abuse I received in 2012 when the swearing stunned me to the point that he did himself a serious disservice.”
Compton insists that he has nothing against Kohli and explained that his idea of trying to get under the opposition's skin is a way different from that of the Indian captain.
“I don't think it is anything personal. I think if you see the likes of Williamson, Root, they just go about their cricket a different way. I am not saying that whether it is right or wrong," he told SportsKeeda.
"Indian players must give it back (to England). I am not saying they shouldn't be aggressive. There are different ways to being aggressive. Kohli can probably do it in a more intelligent way, without having these abusive fights. Sometimes the best way is to say nothing and go out there and get a hundred," Compton added.