Sydney: Annoyed by the crowd taunts, young India cricketer Virat Kohli on Tuesday showed his middle finger to a section of the crowd at the Sydney Cricket Ground during the second Test and may face disciplinary action for the gesture.
As Indian bowlers struggled to contain Australia captain Michael Clarke (251 not out) and Ricky Ponting (134) during the course of their 288-run stand, which helped Australia pile on 482/4, Kohli was photographed raising his middle finger towards the spectators.
Kohli, however, justified his act on his twitter account after the second day's play.
"I agree cricketers don't have to retaliate. what when the crowd says the worst things about your mother and sister. the worst Ive heard," tweeted Kohli.
Kohli has even found support from Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan and England cricketer Kevin Pietersen.
While Pietersen tweeted, "@imVkohli ha ha ha ha ha!!! Welcome to Australia buddy!!," Bachchan said, "@imVkohli Just ignore criticism .. Its there so you can prove it wrong ! you are great humans .. We adore you ! Play well we are with you."
Kohli may be charged with Level 1 of ICC's Code of Conduct relating to "using language or gesture(s) that is seriously obscene, seriously offensive or of a seriously insulting nature to another player, player support personnel, umpire, match referee or any other third person during an international match."
If Kohli is found guilty, he could face a minimum penalty of having half of his match fee docked or a maximum penalty of a one-Test suspension.
However, so far the on-field umpires have not raised the issue with match referee Ranjan Madugalle.
In a similar incident, Liverpool striker Luis Suarez was banned for a match after indecently gesturing at a section of Fulham's fans during an English Premier League match against Fulham.
Last month, Kohli had been reprimanded for showing dissent at an umpire's decision during the third one-dayer against the West Indies in Ahmedabad.
After being given out lbw, he had stood his ground for a considerable time. Later he pleaded guilty to a Level 1 offence while accepting the proposed sanction from the match referee David Boon.
i agree cricketers dont have to retaliate. what when the crowd says the worst things about your mother and sister. the worst ive heard— virat kohli(@imVkohli) January 4, 2012