Virat Kohli, whose middle finger gesture to a section of the Sydney Cricket Ground crowd attracted a fine (50 per cent of match fees) from the International Cricket Council yesterday, may have been provoked by Aussie fans.
"Possibly Kohli made the gesture to Australian fans and not towards us," said Sumit Grover, the founder-member of the Swami Army group.
"We were at the ground on Wednesday and didn't realise this act (was committed) until we saw a photograph in the newspapers today," Grover said from the SCG yesterday.
The Swami Army was formed during India's tour of Australia in 2003-04 by a group of 10 die-hard Indian cricket supporters.
"We are fans of Team India and cheer for Indian players. Kohli may have acted out of frustration after the opponents took command over the game, but should have resisted from making the gesture. We hope senior players like Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman advise this youngster. It (middle finger gesture) is rude, but very common in this country," said Manav Saini, another Swami Army member.
In 2005, television channels showed then India coach Greg Chappell making a finger gesture to a group of fans in Kolkata. When this correspondent contacted Chappell in Australia yesterday, he said: "Sorry, please excuse me. I don't want to react to his (Kohli's) action."