Amidst widespread criticism of his verbal and physical altercation with Australian captain Tim Paine in Perth, former batsman VVS Laxman has come out in support of Virat Kohli saying that Indian skipper's ways are quite authentic to himself and he has no real issues with some balanced aggression being displayed on the field.
"If you ask me to behave like Virat Kohli, I won't be successful. If you ask him to play like me, he won't be successful," VVS said during an India Today event, as he expressed how Virat can only be natural to himself and it is not something that can be changed overnight, "Had he been playing the aggressive style for the first time, then it could be a surprise. But he has always been aggressive. I have no problems with the way he is playing."
"As long as it does not get abusive or personal, it's alright. If Pujara does what Kohli does, then that's a problem for me. If Kohli does what Pujara does, then that is a problem."
"He has already achieved excellence - he has to be as natural as possible. That's his style and I encourage him to do that," he added.
This is when the very very special stated that aggression as a term is widely misunderstood and it doesn't mean to exhibit an in-your-face attitude.
"Don't think I should have ever played the game like that. Aggression is misunderstood," Laxman said, "It means how you react and play when the situation is tough. That is when your true character shows."
"That's aggression - it's not about what you show externally, but about what you show internally. Whoever has played for a long time in any walk of life, has gone through plenty of ups and downs."
When got asked whether this characteristically is a North Indian thing, Laxman reiterated the example of Anil Kumble from Karnataka and simply denied that innate behaviour has something to do where you come from.
"Don't think it's cultural - it's about how you are brought up. I have never seen a more aggressive player than Anil Kumble. That was his nature. It's not only when you show off. Anil was tough as nails. He never gave an inch. It depends on the natural instincts," the 44-year-old, who played 134 Tests for the country said, "Sachin Tendulkar is so calm and composed - how many times have you seen him lose control over his emotions? He played for 24 years - he was aggressive but he did not feel it was necessary for him to show aggression."
"Virender Sehwag is from Delhi - he used to sing Kishore Kumar songs. He would sing before hitting a six and after hitting a six - if the bowler was near him, the song would be more entertaining and the bowler would get irritated, especially if he was a Pakistani. That was Viru's way of keeping his mind focussed," Laxman signed off.