India cricketer Virat Kohli could not escape a fine and censure from the International Cricket Council for his middle finger gesture at a section of the Sydney Cricket Ground crowd on Wednesday. Kohli doesn't leave behind any enthusiasm in the dressing room when he walks out to do battle and though he has yet to set the Yarra River on fire with his run-scoring, he will rarely be criticised for not trying.
Yet, he can be temperamental. His middle finger gesture may have made him get one-up on his oppressors near the boundary line, but it was against the spirit of the game. He provided his side of the story via Twitter: "I agree cricketers don't have to retaliate. What when the crowd says the worst things about your mother and sister. The worst I've heard."
Kohli would be best advised to stay calm and ignore the hecklers although it is easier said than done. Forget being fined, but if Kohli reacts, there is no way the abusive spectators will stop shooting from the lip. That will lead to Kohli getting more upset and not only his fielding, his batting will be affected too because he'll be thinking about the crowd while doing a job he is there for.
While the ICC must ensure good conduct at all times, they must also act when a player complains about offensive spectators. As long as strict action is taken spontaneously, any action on players would seem unfair.
Kohli must show the same kind of alacrity in putting behind the unfortunate incident as he does to putting away loose deliveries from his batting crease. India needs a better show from him in the second innings today.
Kohli need not buy himself a copy of Dale Carnegie's How to Win Friends and Influence People to get himself out of this problem. Sharing a joke with the crowd the next time he gets a chance to field on the boundary may prove far more beneficial.