ICC World Cup 2019: Graeme Swann admires Virat Kohli as ‘A modern day Jesus’

Swann lauded Kohli's honesty towards the game.

Graeme Swann
Graeme Swann. (Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images for Specsavers)

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On June 16, India thrashed Pakistan by 89 runs (DLS Method) at the Old Trafford in Manchester. Rohit Sharma’s 140 helped the Men in Blue to the mammoth score of 336 in 50 overs. Virat Kohli, the Indian captain, also played a substantial hand of 77 off 65 with seven boundaries. However, after the first rain delay, he got out to speedster Mohammad Amir, but under rather doubtful circumstances.

He missed a pull shot and the leather nestled into Sarfaraz Ahmed’s gloves. The on-field umpire didn’t pay heed to the appeal of the Pakistan team. But Kohli decided to walk and India lost their fifth wicket. Later, Ultra Edge didn’t show any spike when the ball passed the bat, adding to more confusion. After going to the dressing room, Kohli indicated that the leather had brushed the handle of his bat.

He’s given himself out when he’s even not: Swann

Meanwhile, Graeme Swann, the former English cricketer, praised the 30-year-old Kohli for showing honesty to the sport and gracefully walking off. The retired Englishman was so happy with the Delhi-born Kohli that he even went on to call him ‘A modern-day Jesus’.

“I’ve always hated non-walkers. I’ve had an argument with every batsman in the game. If you nick it and you stand there, you know you’ve nicked it. And you know you’re out and if you use the excuse ‘oh I’m letting the umpire decide whether I have or not’, you’re still cheating,” Swann said in his podcast.

“You’re cheating yourself more than anything. Virat walked off and it turned out he didn’t even nick it. So he’s that honest. He’s given himself out when he’s even not. Honestly, he is a modern day Jesus,” Swann, who represented England in 178 matches, added.

Kohli may not have set the stage on fire in the World Cup, but he hasn’t let his team down either, both as the captain and batsman. In four matches, Virat is India’s second-highest run-scorer of the tournament with 244 runs at an average of 82 to go with three half-centuries. After five games, India is still unbeaten and is one of the strong contenders to even win the championship.