After India’s humiliating Test series loss against New Zealand, captain Virat Kohli is hogging all the limelight for not so good reasons. Kohli’s on-field demeanour and antics during the Test series, particularly in the second match has come under scanner after various experts and fans questioning him of crossing the line. However, Kohli’s childhood coach Rajkumar Sharma on Monday defended his ward’s on-field antics, saying he never crossed the thin line between aggression and misbehaviour.

The 31-year-old Kohli, who ended the just-concluded New Zealand tour with an unwanted personal record – scoring the lowest number of runs on a tour involving all formats, reflected his state of mind and mood during the post-match presser at Hagley Oval.

Defending his ward, Sharma said: “When he (Kohli) is doing well with the same aggression for the country, then everyone appreciates. I have always believed that yes, aggression is his strength, but there is a thin line between aggression and ‘battamizi’ (misbehaviour). He never crosses that line, and he should not. Aggression pumps him up to do well.”

On day two of the second Test against New Zealand in Christchurch, Kohli was animated as ever in his celebrations when home side captain Kane Williamson was dismissed by Jasprit Bumrah. Kohli also gestured the crowd to keep quiet.

On batting front – Kohli is going through a rare lean phase in his career, but Sharma is unperturbed and feels that the Indian captain will bounce back. The world number two batsman had a disastrous Test series, as he could amass just 38 runs in four innings. In the whole New Zealand tour (11 innings), he scored 218 runs with a single fifty.

“Every player goes through a lean patch. There is something called law of averages in cricket. Maybe, that has caught up. There is nothing to worry about. He is too good a player and he knows where it is going wrong. We have already discussed that. He will be back,” the 54-year-old coach said.

“He is a magnificent player. In the upcoming (ODI) series (against South Africa), he will show what he is capable of,” Sharma asserted.

Sharma also feels Kohli was batting well but unfortunately was getting out. “I keep speaking to him a lot, and especially at a time like this, we talk even more. He has been batting well, but is unfortunately getting out. We must credit the New Zealand bowlers that they have laid a good trap, planned a good strategy for all the Indian batsmen, not just him (Virat),” he further added.

Barring the T20I series high where India registered an emphatic 5-0 series whitewash of Black Caps, the visitors were found wanting in the other two formats – ODIs and Tests. New Zealand defeated Kohli and Co. 3-0 in the ODIs and followed it up with 2-0 drubbing in the just-concluded Test series.