Sharjah: Umpire Virender Sharma, who was officiating the IPL 2021 Eliminator between Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), had to bear the brunt of Virat Kohli's fury -- and even offer an explanation to the RCB skipper -- after an LBW decision was resolved by DRS on Monday evening.
In the do-or-die game, KKR, the two-time IPL champions, defeated RCB by four wickets with two balls remaining, thus leaving Kohli, playing his last game for RCB as skipper, frustrated.
Following a below-par batting performance where the entire top order was gobbled up by KKR spinner Sunil Narine, Kohli was under pressure when his team came out to bowl and defend 138.
Tempers flared when Kohli argued over umpire Sharma's decision to not give KKR batter Rahul Tripathi out LBW in spinner Yuzvendra Chahal's first over after Powerplay. Tripathi seemed to have been trapped LBW by Chahal's googly but the on-field umpire remained unmoved.
The RCB skipper then consulted wicketkeeper K S Bharat and Chahal before asking for DRS, which put it beyond doubt that the ball would have hit the leg-stump. Tripathi was ruled out, which left KKR on 53/2 in seven overs.
An angry Kohli was seen smashing the ball to the ground and then going up to umpire Sharma to express his dismay. Square-leg umpire Chris Gaffaney soon intervened and asked Kohli to back off.
After the completion of the eighth over, Sharma walked up to Kohli to give his version.
Former India skipper Sunil Gavaskar, who was on-air during the contest, expressed his displeasure at umpire Sharma approaching Kohli and giving his version.
"He (umpire) doesn't have to give an explanation. He has taken a call, right or wrong, it's his call," said Gavaskar.