A day after India’s batsmen collectively flunked the challenge thrown by Australia’s pace attack, misfiring young batsman Virat Kohli vented his frustration by showing his middle finger at a section of the Sydney Cricket Ground that taunted him.
Fielding in the deep and helplessly watching India’s bowlers being battered into submission, Kohli was angered, as he tweeted, by the crowd’s references to his family. Kohli could be pulled up for his action, which reflects the current state of mind of India’s cricketers as they are braced to avoid their sixth straight defeat in an overseas Test.
If the batsman is to be blamed for his ill-advised action, the frustration boiled over in the press conference. In a team with some of the most experienced players in the history of the game, it was left to a rookie to do the explanation as the team management showed little thought by pushing Ravichandran Ashwin, all of four-and-a-half Tests old, and without a wicket in the game, to face an aggressive media.
No wonder it proved a bit too much in the end for the fidgety R Ashwin, puzzled anguish writ large on his face. When a scribe began talking of the possibility of a second straight away tour whitewash, Ashwin let emotion get the better of him.
“It has happened before, and I know, I understand, where you are trying to get at. We lost 4-0 on an overseas tour (England) before this. It really has to come from within. For all you know, people telling it's going to be another 4-0, another 2-0... For starters I don’t know how it works with you guys. For us, to just hear that repetitively, that itself is the biggest detriment for us.
“So I don't know. It has to come from someone. Maybe it will come from everyone in the next innings. Probably (Nos) 1 to 11 will get fifties.”
As he fended off question after question, about the field placements, negative bowling, his own wicket-less spell, you almost felt for the young off-spinner. Safe to say that lack of accountability in that dressing room translates to more than just dodgy shot selection.