Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli stopped short of committing a blunder when he almost applied saliva on the ball out of sheer force of habit, in the match against Delhi Capitals in the IPL 2020. The incident happened when Prithvi Shaw of DC attempted a drive to penetrate the covers off the bowling of Navdeep Saini in the third over of the innings. Kohli displayed a quick reflex to stop the ball, but he almost failed to control his next action. He rubbed the ball and was about to apply saliva on it when he realised it was prohibited by the International Cricket Council (ICC) under its special Covid-19 protocols.
The act could have attracted a warning and on repeated instances could even result in a penalty. After realising his mistake, Kohli immediately took his hand off the ball and gestured an apology. It was indeed a fantastic reaction.
Kohli’s reaction even attracted a comment from Sachin Tendulkar. The former cricketer called it a million dollar reaction. “What an incredible shot by Prithvi Shaw there! A million dollar reaction by Vira Kohli, after almost applying saliva on the ball. Sometimes instincts takeover!” wrote Tendulkar on Twitter.
Check out the tweet:
Sometimes instincts takeover!😋
— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) October 5, 2020
Last week in IPL, Rajasthan Royals batsman Robin Uthappa was captured applying saliva on the ball while he was fielding in the match against Kolkata Knight Riders.
According to ICC rules, players are not allowed to use saliva to shine the ball. In case a player does so, the umpires will have to handle the situation at their own discretion and while showing leniency during the initial period for players to adjust to the new norms. However, repeated instances would result in a warning to the team. If the action occurs despite being warned twice in an innings, a 5-run penalty can be imposed on the violating team. Moreover, umpires are required to ensure the ball is cleaned before resuming play.