‘I wasn’t sledging..’: Mark Waugh clarifies his on-air statement on Virat Kohli


Virat Kohli and Mark Waugh

During the first two tests of the Border Gavaskar Trophy (BGT) 2023, Mark Waugh stirred up a controversy as he indulged in a verbal spat with fellow commentators Ravi Shashtri and Dinesh Karthik. It is believed that following the on-air dispute, the Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI) decided not to extend Waugh’s contract for the remaining two Tests and replaced him with Mitchell Johnson.

Notably, in the first two matches, Waugh was very critical of Virat Kohli’s slip fielding as the India maestro dropped a few catches during those games.

In the opening match of the BGT 2023, the former India captain failed to grab a chance to dismiss Steve Smith in the first innings and then went on to put down the likes of David Warner and Peter Handscomb in the second innings. Waugh didn’t seem to like Kohli’s approach and criticized the latter heavily.

“Fielding at slip off the spinners, you got to judge the depth you want to stand. I felt that the catch that Kohli put down, he was rushed into taking the catch. I think there are a few technical things that Kohli can work on. I think his feet are too wide apart. His weight is often on the back of heels rather than on his feet. Sometimes, he looks like he is not expecting the ball. He has got to be expecting the ball every single delivery,” said Waugh while commentating.

Fans weren’t thrilled about the remarks made by the veteran Aussie cricketer, which resulted in a huge backlash from cricket enthusiasts. However, the 57-year-old former opener has now clarified that he wasn’t targeting Kohli for his batting but rather his catching in slips.

Waugh further admitted that he is surprised by the fact that Kohli hasn’t scored a century in 39 innings, but at the same time, he also appreciated the 34-year-old batter’s 44-run knock in Delhi.

“I wasn’t sledging his batting. I was sledging his catching, which he did improve actually. He worked hard on it. But I cannot believe that Virat Kohli hasn’t scored a century in 39 innings, The way he has batted and even his catching it shows that he has felt the pressure, no doubt about it. He is a great player so he is not used to not scoring runs but I did feel like that in Delhi he was getting back to his best,” said Waugh on Fox Cricket.

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