Justin Langer has heaped praise on Virat Kohli’s passion after some fiery send-offs seemingly surprised Australia in Adelaide.
Kohli first let rip when Ishant Sharma bowled Aaron Finch with the third ball of Australia’s innings on day two.
The Indian captain screamed and pumped his fists in the general direction of Australia’s batsmen – a celebration repeated as the tourists took multiple early wickets.
Australia didn’t lack for their own passion when they celebrated their early dominance on the first morning.
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But the team’s new era of respect has seen the players target the game rather than the opponents, with over-the-top sledging and send-offs all but eradicated.
Yet Langer has made an unexpected concession following Kohli’s celebrations, suggesting some Australians are holding back.
“You love seeing that passion in sport, don’t you?” Langer told Fox Sports.
“Mind you I think if we did that at the moment we’d be the worst blokes in the world. But it’s a fine line, isn’t it?
“That’s the truth of it but I love seeing the passion. That is great passion. As I said, there’s a fine line there.”
Kohli was doubly fired up after being dismissed for just three runs on the first day.
“He’s a superstar of the game and he’s the captain,” Langer said.
“We’ve talked, for as long as I can remember in Australian cricket teams, you want to keep the opposition captain down as much as possible.”
Langer spoke as rain delayed the start of play on day three following two days of 40-degree temperatures.
After the opening two days were played in searing heat, rain fell at Adelaide Oval for much of Saturday morning.
Play got underway 45 minutes after the scheduled 10.30am (11am AEDT) starting time but rain halted play at 11.30am.
Australia resumed on 7-191, 59 runs behind India, and fell to 8-204 when Mitchell Starc was dismissed with the final ball before the stoppage.