Virat Kohli is known to play the game with his heart on his sleeve. While people have called it passionate, critics have said that his behaviour both on and off the pitch has been poor. The skipper has lost his cool on many occasions and was, in the past, heard hurling abuses at his teammates, umpires, and even fans. From what it seemed in the last test match against New Zealand, Kohli was somewhat truculent with his 'SHH' gesture.
Was it towards the fans? Or towards Tom Latham and Kane Williamson?
When a New Zealand journalist questioned the skipper's behaviour, he too faced a hostile Kohli.
"Virat what's your reaction to your behaviour in the field yesterday? You were swearing at Williamson when he got out, swearing at the crowd. As Indian captain do you need to set a better example and tone it down a bit in the field?" the journalist asked.
Kohli instead posed a question at the journalist. He said, "What do you think? I am asking you for the answer. You need to find out exactly what happened and then come up with a better question, I have spoken with the match referee, you cannot come here with half knowledge. Thank you".
This was not the first time Kohli bashed a journalist. The past has witnessed many instances where the RCB captain lost his cool on journalists during previous encounters.
Another instance was Kohli abusing a HT journalist during the 2015 World Cup in March.
Jasvinder Sidhu, covering the World Cup for Hindustan Times, was mistaken for another journalist who wrote an article on Anushka Sharma.
But that did not matter for Kohli as he bashed Sidhu recklessly, hurling abuses at him.
While Sidhu was clueless about the incident, the vice-captain of India called out another journalist and apologized not directly to Sidhu but through him.
India maintained its top spot in World Test Championship standing with 360 points but Kohli's post-match interviews with journalists do not go down in a cool manner as another instance takes us two year back to January, 2018 during India's tour of South Africa for a three-match Test series which the Men in Blue lost after the Proteas took an unassailable 2-0 lead.
This time is was a South African journalist who faced Kohli's 'not-so-cool' response.
The journalist questioned Kohli's team selection and the constant changes in the line-up.
"You talking about the team not coming together well, maybe has that been because of the changing of the selection? In all the Tests that you have been captain, you have changed your line up in almost every Test. And I think you would know that to win Test matches you also need a little bit of consistency or a lot of consistency and you guys have been lacking that part. What would you put that down to and how would you basically say that you guys will continue changing your team and expect a different result?" the journalist asked.
Kohli was quick to counter-question, he said: "How many Test matches have you (South Africa) won out of 30? How many have you won? 21 wins, two losses, how many draws?"
The journalist replied with yet another question: "How many in India?"
"Doesn’t matter wherever we are trying to do our best. I’m here to answer your questions not to fight with you," Kohli answered.
An Indian journalist was also on the receiving end of counter-questions from Kohli. When being asked about his ideal playing XI, Kohli said: "You tell me the best XI and we will play that. I mean the loss obviously hurts but you make one decision and back it. We certainly don't sit here and say 'oh, if you fail in one game, you are not fit to play at this level'. Didn't we ever lose in India? The reason why we have such a big squad is that we believe in their abilities. You can't pinpoint and say this is the best XI."
Another instance during the Test series against England which India lost 4-1 at Oval. Despite losing, coach Ravi Shastri claimed India is the best team in the last 15-20 years.
While he was questioned by Sourav Ganguly and Sunil Gavaskar, Kohli backed his coach when questioned by a journalist about the team's status.
Questioning Kohli, a reporter asked, "The Best Indian team in the last 15 years! Do these tags put pressure on you? Do you actually believe you are?"
Kohli answered, "We have to believe we are the best side. Why not?"
The journalist was quick to come up with a sharp question and said, "The best team in 15 years?"
Kohli returned that question back to the journalist to which he said, "I'm not sure."
"You're not sure? That is your opinion. Thank you," replied Kohli which ended the heated exchange of words between the two.
These heated altercations are not reserved only for journalists as Kohli has also slammed a fan who preferred English and Australian batsmen to Indian players.
"I don't think you should live in India, go and live somewhere else," Kohli told him in a video recording while responding to messages during the launch of his mobile app in 2018.
Kohli's GOAT (Greatest of All Time) status is not a free pass to be rude to journalists without rhyme or reason. Not just journalists, but even teammates and fans should not have to put up with such behaviour after a GOAT's bad day at the office.
Perhaps watching Roger Federer's press conference should be a learning point for the skipper as the Swiss star always manages to keep a calm head during post-match press conferences even after a bad field day.
In the semi-finals of Australian Open, Federer lost against Novak Djokovic but during the post-match interaction, the Tennis ace won hearts with his words. "I'm confident. I'm happy how I'm feeling, to be honest. I got through a good, nice training block," Federer said.
Maybe Kohli can learn a thing or two from Federer.