What’s the story?
Indian opener Murali Vijay admitted that Indian players are taking Glenn Maxwell mocking Indian Test captain’s shoulder injury just before he was dismissed as a “sportive thing” and hoped that Australia can do the same as well during the second innings after day three of the third Test in Ranchi.
Speaking about Maxwell mocking Kohli’s shoulder injury, Murali Vijay said: “To be honest, we are really focussed on our games, we have a match in hand so we have got to go close to their target and these are the things running in our heads in the dressing room. All the players are aware of it and whatever they are doing, we take it as a sportive thing and they have second innings so hopefully they can take it that way it will be great.”
In case you didn’t know…
Virat Kohli injured his shoulder on day one of the third Test and amidst contrasting reports that Kohli would take no part in the game, BCCI released a statement saying that Kohli had “no serious concerns”. Although he didn’t field for the rest of the Australia innings, he did walk into bat at No.4 after spending nearly two days in the dressing room during which time Ajinkya Rahane captained the side.
The heart of the matter
After plenty of concerns about whether he would come out to bat and where he will play, Indian fans would have heaved a sigh of relief when they saw Virat Kohli walk out to bat at No.4 at the fall of Murali Vijay’s wicket. Kohli was then involved in an interesting turn of events in the 81st over.
After Glenn Maxwell saved a boundary off Cheteshwar Pujara’s bat while fielding in the deep, he placed his hand on his shoulder in an attempt to mock and unsettle Kohli. The move worked a treat as Kohli was caught by Steve Smith off the bowling of Pat Cummins off the very next ball, which certainly got the adrenaline of all the Australians pumping.
In a highly-contested series with so much on the line, tempers are likely to flare but it was great to see Vijay acknowledge that Maxwell’s gesture, although meant to mock Kohli’s injury was taken by the Indian team in a sporting manner.
After all, trying to get into the minds of the batsmen and celebrations at the fall of a wicket or when the opponents’ best batsman is gone, is nothing new. And one hopes that Vijay’s words are the final say on this matter which shouldn't take anything away from what is happening on the pitch.