'Angry young man' Virat Kohli's role in Ashwin-Anderson duel proves he's truly 'Captain Cool' now

Updated: Dec 16, 2016, 10:33 IST | mid-day online correspondent

Virat Kohli is ready to take over as 'Captain Cool' from Dhoni. The skipper playing peacemaker between R Ashwin and James Anderson on Monday shows the angry young cub is becoming the mature lion

Virat Kohli played peacemaker between Ashwin and Anderson on Monday at Wankhede. Pic/AFP
Virat Kohli played peacemaker between Ashwin and Anderson on Monday at Wankhede. Pic/AFP

Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan was known as 'angry young man' during his initial days. Well, Virat Kohli too would be fit for the sobriquet because of his real-life actions on the ground. After all, the 28-year-old is known for his aggression and fierce competitiveness on the field and has a history of getting into heated arguments with opponents.

Be it Australia's Shane Watson, Steve Smith, Bangladesh's Rubel Hossain, his own countryman Gautam Gambhir or journalists, Kohli's 'Virat' appetite for confrontation had become a by-word in the cricket.

But things it seems are changing.

May be he has been taking anger management classes, may be captaincy has made him more mature. Whatever the cause may be. Kohli on Monday displayed another side of his personality that shows that he is truly taking over the mantle of 'Captain Cool' from MS Dhoni.

Ravichandran Ashwin (2nd L) speaks to England's James Anderson (C) after India won the fourth Test cricket match against England at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai on Monday. Pic/AFP
Ravichandran Ashwin (2nd L) speaks to England's James Anderson (C) after India won the fourth Test cricket match against England at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai on Monday. Pic/AFP

Monday saw Virat adopt an uncharacteristic role as peacemaker when the India captain acted to pacify an angry exchange between off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin and England paceman James Anderson on the final day of the fourth Test being played at Mumbai's Wankhede stadium.

The incident occurred when England number 11 Anderson walked out to bat and was greeted by a volley of angry words from Ashwin, whose views were echoed by his team-mates in the innings and 36 runs victory for the hosts.

Ashwin seemed to be have been irked by Anderson's digs on Sunday at Kohli, suggesting that the Indian skipper's technique was not being thoroughly tested on the docile pitches in India after he hit 235 at the Wankhede Stadium for his third double hundred of 2016.

England's record wicket-taker in Tests had dismissed Kohli four times during India's tour of England in 2014 but the batsman has flayed Anderson and his bowling partners this time, already amassing 640 runs in the ongoing series at an average of 128.

"For the first time I was trying to calm things down in the middle at a time when James Anderson is involved," a grinning Kohli, who is often very demonstrative on the field, told reporters after India moved 3-0 ahead in the five-match series.

"Ashwin wasn't pleased with what he (Anderson) said in the press and I didn't even know about it. He told me on the ground.

"So I didn't know what to make of it, I was laughing about it, Ashwin wasn't too impressed and he let him know without using any bad words, honestly," Kohli added.

"I think he (Ashwin) told me he was pretty disappointed with what he said and it is important to accept defeat as it is. Later on, I told James these things happen and let's move on."

Anderson has a history of disputes with India and the team filed a charge against him for pushing Ravindra Jadeja during the Trent Bridge Test in 2014.

He was later cleared by the governing body International Cricket Council (ICC).

On Monday, the squabble between Ashwin and Anderson threatened to boil over with England captain Alastair Cook saying it was unnecessary and had left a "sour" taste.

"It was a bit of a sour end really. A disappointing end in terms of how well the spirit's been between both sides," Cook said.

"It was clearly reference to what Jimmy said yesterday which has kind of been blown out of all proportions, which it can do here. He was just stating a fact which if you asked Virat is probably quite true.

"But yes it was obviously just sticking up for their captain which I thought was slightly unnecessary."

Ravichandran Ashwin (2nd L) speaks to England's James Anderson (C) after India won the fourth Test cricket match against England at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai on Monday. Pic/AFP
Ravichandran Ashwin (2nd L) speaks to England's James Anderson (C) after India won the fourth Test cricket match against England at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai on Monday. Pic/AFP

But the fact that a team mate was so offended by an opponent's comments about his captain the previous day that he decided to say something about it on the field the next day shows the kind of loyalty and respect Virat is eliciting from his boys and surely a good sign for Team India.

And that makes VK surely a hands-down winner of the 'Captain Cool' title.

(With Agency Inputs)

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