Virat Kohli gave an animated send-off to Faf du Plessis in the first Test at Cape Town without any real instigation from the South African captain, he is one of the loudest, easily heard Indian fielders also. Stump microphones caught him saying, “The next one is coming to me,” in the slips when Keshav Maharaj was trying to keep Ashiwn out towards the end of Day 1 of the second Test. But what the cameras or stump microphones often overlook is the ‘other’ side of Virat Kohli. South African opener and easily the best batsman on Day 1, Aiden Markram had a firsthand experience of that other side.
In a matter of seconds, Markram’s heartbreak of not reaching to his third Test ton, subdued a little.
“He came across and said, ‘well played, you were unlucky to get out.’ It was a great touch from him. He is a massive competitor as everyone,” said Markram.
Markram had just lost his wicket to Ashwin when he was 94. A backfoot punch, which could have been avoided brought about his downfall. A wasted review only increased the agony. On his way back to the pavilion, the least expected thing was a pat from Kohli, the feisty, in-your-face opposition captain.
“He’s got good values that people off the field might not see. It was a great gesture and it meant a lot,” said the young South African.
Kohli is a fire and ice character in many ways. He does not die wondering, lets the opposition know when India is on top, also does not miss any opportunity to get his hat off after a brilliant performance.
Markram’s was nothing short of a brilliant performance. Playing only in his fourth Test, the 23-year-old showed maturity way beyond his age.
This was not the first time when a young opposition opener saw the tender side of Kohli. In 2016, a 19-year-old Hasib Hameed spent an hour with the Indian skipper after the former was forced out of the series with a thumb injury.