Ian Healy says he is losing respect for Virat Kohli because of his feisty behaviour © IANS
Ian Healy says he is losing respect for Virat Kohli because of his feisty behaviour © IANS

Ian Healy says he is losing respect for Virat Kohli as he believes that the Indian skipper is putting pressure on his teammates with his feisty attitude. On the other hand, former Australia batsman Simon Katich feels that both skippers Kohli and Steven Smith handled the tense second day of the Bengaluru Test with great poise. The two skippers had a heated argument but Australia had fought back the Indian bowlers with great vigour to get keep the hosts to a mere 189 in the first innings. Healy insists that Kohli should tone down his on-field aggression and has been disrespectful towards Australia as well as the umpires. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: India vs Australia, 2nd Test at Bengaluru

Speaking to a Melbourne radio station SEN, Healy said, “The pressure is starting to tell on (Kohli). I’m losing respect for him. He’s not only now continuing his disrespect of the Australian players and umpires, but I think he’s putting pressure on his own players now. I’ve said in the past, he’s the best batsman I’ve ever seen. His feistiness and real aggression towards the opposition has been good (in the past), especially when he wasn’t captain.”

“It would lead his team with him. They’re more timid than they look and they let on, the Indian cricketers. So Kohli’s aggression was good for them. But I think it’s not good for them anymore. He’s really putting some pressure on (his players).  You can read pressure all over Ravi Ashwin’s face,” Healy said.

“I think there’s massive cracks showing in (Kohli). He’s got to be a lot more respectful of his opponents. The stuff he did with Steven Smith was unacceptable.”

The sledging in the game had intensified so much that at one point of time, the India fast-bowler Ishant Sharma appeared to mimic Smith’s distinctive batting style and facial expressions which had even made Kohli laugh in amusement. Meanwhile, Katich suggested that tension on the field was a result of the clash between the top-ranked Test sides, hence the situation was justified.

Katich, while speaking to ABC’s Grandstand at Stumps podcast said “I thought both of them handled it extremely well. You could tell there was a lot of emotion out there, India were desperate for wickets. They know Steve Smith is a huge wicket.”

“I think Steven Smith handled it well too, he had a bit of a laugh. He took the mickey out of Ishant, Ishant took the mickey out of him. The umpires handled it well.

“All in all, the captains both deserve a lot of credit because that could have easily gotten out of hand.”

“Given the way the series has gone so far, India are probably going to be a bit niggly because they’re 1-0 down and not happy with the way things are going.

“Australia have got every right to be … pretty confident because they’re playing well. It could have gotten out of hand but it didn’t courtesy of the two captains.”

Healy had reserved his praises for the Australia wicketkeeper Matthew Wade as well. Healy believes that though Peter Nevill is still the better wicketkeeper as compared to Wade, Healy admits that Wade has improved; looking at the importance of his innings late on Day Two against India.

“No, he’s not,” he said when  enquired if Wade’s glovework has improved when compared to Nevill. “But he’s just rock hard. He’s such a strong fighter, Matty Wade. He’s getting the job done outstandingly over there and he’s not out 25 (at stumps in Bengaluru), which was a crucial part of yesterday’s batting.

“He’s getting there, he’s learning heaps. Wadey’s doing brilliantly, he’s a great part of this team and the effort they’re putting in.”