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Fiery Kohli losing my respect: Healy

Ex-Australia gloveman says India skipper is putting unwanted pressure on teammates, but Simon Katich sees it differently

Former Test wicketkeeper Ian Healy says he's "losing respect" for India captain Virat Kohli, and believes his confrontational attitude is heaping pressure on his teammates.

But former Australia batsman Simon Katich suggested both Kohli and his counterpart Steve Smith handled a tense second day of a vital Test with aplomb. 


The two skippers stood eye-to-eye and exchanged words during a gripping first session, as Australia fought and scrapped a first-innings lead in the face of some challenging Indian bowling and a tricky M. Chinnaswamy pitch.

Both Matt Renshaw and Cheteshwar Pujara played down suggestions after play that things had gotten out of hand in the middle, but Healy insisted Kohli disrespected Australia and he should tone down his trademark on-field aggression.

Day two recap: Aussies edge ahead on tense day two

"The pressure is starting to tell on (Kohli)," the 119-Test veteran told Melbourne radio station SEN.

"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. 

Australia edge ahead on tense day two

"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.

"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 Steve Smith was unacceptable."

Quick Single: Captains square off in verbal stoush

Smith and Renshaw at one stage got into a spirited contest with Ishant Sharma, as the India fast-bowler appeared to mimic the Australia captain's idiosyncratic batting movements and facial expressions, drawing laughter from Kohli. 

Katich's take on the exchanges differed markedly from Healy's; the gritty former opener suggested while the tension was understandable considering the magnitude of the series between the two top-ranked Test sides, neither side crossed the line.

Always sledging with Aussies: Pujara

"I thought both of them handled it extremely well," Katich said on ABC's Grandstand at Stumps podcast. 

"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 Steve 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.

Virat's toilet gag amuses Renshaw

"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."

Quick Single: Australians in Kohli's head, says Hayden

Healy did reserve some praise for Australia wicketkeeper Matthew Wade.

While he conceded he still believes Wade's predecessor Peter Nevill remains the better gloveman, Healy said the Victorian's 'keeping is improving and stressed the importance of his innings late on day two against India.

"No, he's not," he said when asked if Wade's glovework is superior to Nevill's. "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."

Test Squads


India (for first two Tests): Virat Kohli (c), Murali Vijay, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Ravichandaran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Ishant Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Karun Nair, Jayant Yadav, Kuldeep Yadav, Abhinav Mukund, Hardik Pandya.

Australia: Steve Smith (c), David Warner (vc), Ashton Agar, Jackson Bird, Peter Handscomb, Josh Hazlewood, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Stephen O'Keefe, Matthew Renshaw, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, Matthew Wade


Australia's schedule in India


Feb 23-27, First Test, Pune


Mar 4-8, Second Test, Bengaluru


Mar 16-20, Third Test, Ranchi


Mar 25-29, Fourth Test, Dharamsala