In-form Virat Kohli is used to scoring big. In the third ODI against New Zealand in Auckland on Saturday however, he fell for just six. It was a dismissal that hurt India's prospects - chasing 314 in a must-win match. It was also a dismissal that exposed Kohli's inherent urge to dissent, one that left former India captain Sunil Gavaskar disappointed.
With three fifties and a century in his last eight ODIs, Kohli has been a dominant force for Team India. In Saturday's match however, he failed to fire - Hamish Bennett using pace to find a handsome edge off an expansive Kohli drive. While his team was left tottering at 74/3 in 17.4 - 241 away from the target, Kohli stood his ground to show his disapproval of umpire Rod Tucker's decision. "Kohli is one of those batsmen who just hates to get out," Gavaskar - part of the commentary team for the official broadcaster - said on air. "(But) When you are out, you are out," he added, indicating his displeasure at Kohli's body language.
Kohli - for all his talent and skills as a world-class batsman - had in fact looked scratchy during his brief stay at Eden Park. The Bennett delivery was a good length ball just outside off which Kohli - shown clearly by television replays - had touched with his bat, en route to the keeper. In fact, Kohli's bat was nowhere close to his pads which meant the faint sound could only have reaffirmed umpire Rod Tucker's belief. Kohli though was visibly distraught for reasons nobody could fathom. "Only a friendly sports editor would say that Kohli wasn't out," said Gavaskar on a lighter note.
The 25-year-old batsman - averaging 52.50 from 127 ODIs - has been infamous for his temper and on-field tiffs with opponents. In the past, he has even argued his case with umpires - latest being in this very match when he chose to question why a rising delivery from Mohammad Shami was adjudged as a wide.
Interestingly, Kohli in an interview recently had admitted losing his cool in the past was a mistake and that he had learnt from experience. "I have made a few mistakes early on that I admit myself and there have been times when I have gone over the top and done things that you shouldn't do in international cricket, but that's how you learn," he had said. (Read more here)
Kohli's reaction after his dismissal on Saturday though, clearly shows that the 'learning' is still in process.