India vs Australia: Virat Kohli Is An Absolute Gentleman, Ravi Shastri Defends India Captain's Perth Antics

Updated: 23 December 2018 12:50 IST

Ravi Shastri also demanded his opening batsmen step up and ease the pressure on Virat Kohli.

India vs Australia: Virat Kohli Is An Absolute Gentleman, Ravi Shastri Defends India Captain
Ravi Shastri denied India's morale had taken a hit by losing in Perth. © AFP

Virat Kohli scored a battling century in the second Test against Australia in Perth but the Indian skipper came under criticism for his sledging and heated exchanges with Australian counterpart Tim Paine. The 30-year-old's animated wicket celebrations were also frowned upon, but head coach Ravi Shastri, on Sunday, said that he didn't have a problem with his skipper's behaviour. "What's wrong with his behaviour? As far as we are concerned, he is an absolute gentleman," Shastri said.

Shastri also demanded his opening batsmen step up and ease the pressure on Kohli.

India go into the Boxing Day showdown with Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara is fine form, effectively carrying their team during the Adelaide and Perth games.

But the opening pair of KL Rahul and Murali Vijay have struggled for runs and Shastri said that needed to change.

"It's a big concern," he said when asked about the failure of the openers to get a big score.

"It's obvious and that responsibility and accountability has to be taken by the top order. 

"They've got the experience, they've got the exposure over these last few years to get out there and deliver. It's about how strong you are in the mind."

There is no guarantee that Rahul and Vijay will retain their places with in-form Mayank Agarwal called up to the squad as a replacement for injured Prithvi Shaw, who has been ruled out of the series.

Shastri also denied India's morale had taken a hit by losing in Perth after their tense victory in Adelaide - their first Test win on Australian soil in a decade.  

"Absolutely not. 1-1 in a series in Australia and we know we had our chances in Perth as well. They're ready," he said.

"It's not often that we've been in a position where we've won one (on an overseas tour). It's 1-1. The boys know what they can do, what they're capable of and the potential that lies ahead," Shastri concluded.

India won the first Test in Adelaide by 31 runs but lost in Perth by 146 runs. The four-match series is currently tied at 1-1 with the third Test set to begin on Wednesday at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

(With AFP Inputs)

Highlights
  • Virat Kohli came under criticism for his heated exchanges with Tim Paine
  • Virat Kohli's animated wicket celebrations were also frowned upon
  • India won Adelaide Test by 31 runs but lost in Perth by 146 runs
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