It's no secret that Virat Kohli wears his heart on his sleeve and never shies away speaking his mind, without being afraid of the consequences.
Be it in front of the opposition players or the on-field umpires, Kohli has a habit of putting across his point no matter what.
People who watch from the outside have divided opinions about his animated behaviour. While some approve of his aggression so long as he is not crossing the thin line between aggression and arrogance, others feel he needs to tone down a bit as it has started to affect his game.
Kohli, however, is unperturbed by the white noise and does what he feels is right.
As the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) faced Kolkata Knight Riders in the Eliminator in Sharjah, neither of the teams wanted to give the opposition even an inch and it reflected in the intensity with which the match was played.
On paper, it was a low-scoring affair, but the players from both teams were totally charged up throughout the game, especially given what was at stake. The players knew even the slightest of hiccups could prove fatal and bring their campaign to a disappointing end.
A thrilling encounter that ended in @KKRiders' favour.
It's good night from Sharjah. #VIVOIPL | #RCBvKKR | #Eliminator pic.twitter.com/Tq32ahwBoI
After the first innings, the Kolkata-based outfit was in the driver’s seat after their bowlers had restricted RCB to a below part score of 138/7.
But given how the surface has behaved, so far, this season, RCB bowlers knew it wasn't going to be an easy chase and they made the KKR batters grind for each and every one.
In a closely fought contest like this, each and every run counts and Kohli was doing his best to motivate his troops to give their best on the field. The RCB skipper knew the importance of each and every wicket and that is why when on-field umpire Virender Sharma ruled against his side, he went straight up to him and confronted him.
This incident occurred during the seventh over of the KKR innings after leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal trapped Rahul Tripathi right in front of the stumps but Sharma ruled in favour of the batter.
Luckily, RCB had a review available with them and they challenged the decision straight away and it was eventually overturned by the TV umpire, giving RCB their second breakthrough.
Despite the third umpire ruling in his side’s favour, Kohli wasn’t content and threw the ball away in anger.
pic.twitter.com/4tRKN5lSnB— pant shirt fc (@pant_fc) October 11, 2021
After that, he walked towards the umpire and presumably asked him how he could rule that not out when the ball had clearly struck the pad first and it was dead plumb.
Kohli’s frustration stemmed from the fact that this was not the first error in judgement by Sharma. He had given two decisions against his side when they were batting and adjudged Shahbaz Ahmed and Harshal Patel out and the decision, both of which were overturned by the TV umpire after the players took DRS.
What a journey this has been! #VIVOIPL | #RCBvKKR | #Eliminator pic.twitter.com/jYU3eydci2— IndianPremierLeague (@IPL) October 11, 2021
The level of umpiring has been poor throughout the tournament and some fans felt that Kohli was right in confronting the umpire for his repeated mistakes as it cost them two runs while they were batting.
Since Sharma had declared the batters out, a couple of singles that they took were not added to their total because as per rules as soon as the DRS comes into the picture, it becomes a dead ball.
I don't give a damn about cricket ethics and spirit.. that umpire deserved that hearing from Virat Kohli.
Yes kohli bully those umpire mfers
Gave two wrong decision against us while batting , had cut down 2 runs off us . Now giving notout to a plumb
Clearly umpire Virender Sharma is not having a good game, and that has obviously not gone well with #Kohli . At least 3 times he had to reverse his decisions #Eliminator #IPL2021 #RCBvKKR #KKR #KKRvsRCB #KorboLorboJeetbo #umpiring @Srinathk1969— G Krishnan (@gikkukrishnan) October 11, 2021
If on field umpire is like Virendra Sharma then we better not need umpire.
Due to his wrong decisions 2 important runs were deducted from RCB total.
Totally unacceptable umpiring, seemed intentional and one sided.
Kohli was absolutely right venting his frustration.#ViratKohli
Some fans were completely against such bullying by a player of Kohli’s stature and criticised the RCB captain for disrespecting the match official and setting a wrong example for the masses.
That’s not very good from Kohli. By all means show dissatisfaction but threatening the umpire when DRS overturned the decision is uncalled for. #RCBvKKR #IPL2021 #Eliminator— Prem Mohanty (@philipbkk) October 11, 2021
They should make Kohli umpire a match, see if he gets every decision right. His treatment of the officials is so far over the line of disrespectful it's ridiculous. Come on Virat you're better than that— Andrew McKenna (@talkMacca) October 11, 2021
Kohli deserves to loose for going off at the umpire!
Yet to win a trophy but look at their attitude kohli agar umpire hota toh uska haar decision sahi hota? How can he mock umpire? Classless pic.twitter.com/QjnkJsfdsn— Aryan (@Rohitswarriorrr) October 11, 2021
The players were playing for their lives and the emotions certainly got the better of the RCB skipper, who wanted to do everything he could to help his team.
His intentions might be right but the manner in which he and his players surrounded the umpire and confronted him was definitely against the spirit of the game and can't be defended, no matter what.
Irrespective of where the match was headed, a player of his stature should’ve known better how to keep his emotions under check.