Australian news outlets slammed Indian batting great VVS Laxman over his reference to the late Phil Hughes during a discussion about Glenn Maxwell and Steve Smith allegedly mocking Virat Kohli’s injury on Saturday.
Virat Kohli was injured on day one of the third Test between India and Australia being played in Ranchi.
The Indian skipper injured his shoulder in an attempt to save a boundary and was seen clutching it in pain as he was taken off the field for treatment. He missed the rest of the day’s play and only returned to action during India’s innings but was dismissed for 6 runs by Pat Cummins after edging to Smith in second slip.
On Day three, Glenn Maxwell made a similar dive at the boundary line and later held onto his shoulder, seemingly mocking Kohli.
When Kohli was dismissed later on day three, a photo was circulated on social media cropped to show a hand on Smith’s shoulder. It was alleged that Smith was also mocking Kohli. However, it was later revealed to be Peter Handscomb’s hand which was verified by Cricket Australia via their website cricket.com.au.
However, unaware of that correction, Laxman had come out in support of Kohli, saying Smith shouldn’t have mocked the Indian captain.
“Glenn Maxwell and Steve Smith, what example is he setting to his team? That’s very disappointing. You can sledge ... it’s fine, but not mocking someone who is injured, in pain,” Laxman said during tea break on the third day during the live broadcast of the game.
“I’ve never experienced that because when you are injured, you always care for the opposition player as well.
“Especially after what happened to Phil Hughes, everyone is concerned when someone gets injured.
“Whether he gets hit on the helmet or is injured, there is a concern.
“You play the game a hard way but the spirit of the game should be there. This is defying the spirit of the game,” Laxman had said then.
Australian media has been unforgiving in their coverage of the series thus far and was on the offensive once again, scathing Laxman for his reference of the late cricketer Hughes.
The Daily Telegraph led the criticism of Laxman, describing his comments as an “ill-informed attack on Smith’s leadership” and for “unfortunately bringing up the Hughes family name into a non-issue”.
The article was also posted on the website of fellow News Corp Australia media outlet The Courier Mail.
The Australian called Laxman’s comments “depressingly ill-advised” and said that he had “waded into murky waters”.
The same article by The Australian observed that, “The standard of play on the field has been brilliant in this series, but some of the nonsense surrounding it has left much to be desired.”
Other global news outlets to lay it into Laxman were RealSport101.com and SportingNews.com.
Real Sport headlined their article “VVS Laxman disgracefully references Phillip Hughes during attack on Australia” while Sporting News said it was a “misguided rant” with an “insensitive reference”.