LISTEN: Full script of Episode 111 of Spodcast where we discuss Mark Taylor's comments on Virat Kohli, Mumbai's draw against Saurashtra and more

Welcome to Spodcast, the sports update on Firstpost.

The criticism against the on-field conduct of Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli seems to have no end. The latest to join the chorus trying to shame Kohli is former Australian captain Mark Taylor.

Taylor appreciated Kohli's off-the-field conduct in one of their encounters but felt the Indian captain's confrontational approach on the field was something "the game does not need." Recalling a meeting with Kohli from four years ago, he said, "We were filming in a studio at Adelaide Oval the day before the Test when the national anthems blared out on the loudspeakers, as part of rehearsals for the following day, forcing us to take a break. When the anthems stopped after some 10 minutes, the India media manager told me my half-hour was up and gestured for Kohli to leave. Instead of trotting off, as he was entitled to do, Kohli turned to me and asked if I needed more time. I told him I still had a few questions I wanted to ask. 'Come on' he said. 'Let's sit back down, let's do it'. I thought that was terrific."

However, speaking about Kohli's aggression on the field, Taylor said, "He is an outstanding batsman but also hard-nosed and confrontational. I would not be surprised if most Australians mainly see him as the latter, which is unfortunate. While he generally captains the side well, the way he behaves at times does not do himself or his team any good. His goading of Tim Paine into a confrontation in Perth worried me. He was trying to elicit a reaction from Paine: 'Where are you at, mate? Are you prepared to take me on?' That's exactly what the game does not need. Cricket is a game about bat versus ball with a bit of theatre when required."

Sounding a note of caution, Taylor said, "That sort of behaviour leaked into the Australian cricket team over the years and is partly the reason we are here today. India, with Virat as their leader, can learn a lot from what has happened to Australia."

Taylor is also not a fan of the way the contents of the stump microphone were made public. He said, "Players will start saying things for the sake of getting on television. Perhaps I am an outlier, but I prefer to watch the game and hear an expert commentator talk rather than a wicketkeeper ranting for six balls. Maybe that's because I've heard it all before standing at first slip my whole career."

An update from Ranji Trophy now. An all-round good performance by Bihar saw them win big over Nagaland while former Ranji champions Mumbai played out an exciting draw against Saurashtra at the Wankhede Stadium.

Bihar's left-arm spinner Ashutosh Aman picked up 12 wickets against Nagaland to help his side win by a huge 273 runs. Nagaland did well in the first innings to skittle out Bihar for just 150, with Rachit Bhatia picking up six wickets. But Bihar had Nagaland all out for 209 as Aman picked up seven wickets. Bihar then scored 505/8 in the second innings, with Mangal Mahrour scoring 177 and Rahmatullah making 107. That meant Nagaland had to chase a massive 447 in their second innings. While Captain Rongsen Jonathan scored a nearly run-a-ball 100, the rest of Nagaland’s batting collapsed. Ashutosh claimed 5 wickets as Bihar wrapped up Nagaland’s innings at 173. It was Bihar's fourth win in six matches. They now have 27 points, which leaves them just 10 points behind leaders Uttarakhand.

Meanwhile, in Mumbai, the home team was involved in an exciting draw with Saurashtra. Mumbai have won the Ranji Trophy 41 times while Saurashtra have never won it, having lost the finals to Mumbai on two occasions. So there is some history between the two teams. Saurashtra won the toss and chose to field. Mumbai, always happy to bat first, scored 394 in their first dig, with Siddhesh Lad making 108 and Jay Bista making 127. Bista’s innings included 21 boundaries. Saurashtra finished their innings with 348 runs, giving Mumbai a lead of 46 runs. Sheldon Jackson and Chirag Jani top scored with 95 and 85 respectively. Mumbai declared their second innings with the score at 238/8, setting Saurashtra a target of 285 in 72 overs. Shreyas Iyer was the top scorer with 83. Chasing a fairly achievable total, Saurashtra received a couple of jolts and were 79/2 but a 113-run third wicket stand between Viswarajsinh Jadeja and Sheldon Jackson brought them closer to the target.

Jadeja was run out by a direct throw from point by Jay Bista that broke the partnership at 192. Soon after, a double strike in one over by medium pacer Minad Manjrekar, courtesy two well-directed short balls, put the brakes on Saurashtra’s scoring. Four balls into the final over of the match, with Saurashtra requiring 19 runs for a famous win, the match was called off as a draw.

An update from the exciting Premier Badminton League, now. Hyderabad Hunters defeated the Chennai Smashers 5-0 on Tuesday.

The South Korean pair of Kim Sa Rang and Eom Hye Won beat Chris Adcock and Gabby Adcock 14-15, 15-13, 15-14 to seal a convincing victory for Hyderabad. The only respite for Chennai was in the women's singles match where Ji Hyun Sung defeated Olympic and World Championship silver medalist PV Sindhu 15-13, 14-15, 15-7.

Hyderabad began season four by defeating Pune 7 Aces on the opening day in Mumbai. Yesterday, they were five points away from their first defeat on their own trump. Kim Sa Rang and Bodin Isara had to summon all the guile and experience they could in order to beat Sumeeth Reddy and Chin Chung Or. They prevailed 13-15, 15-12, 15-10 to earn two crucial points for Hyderabad. Then, it was the turn of veteran Lee Hyun Il, the 38-year-old from South Korea, to school Chong Wei Feng, as he won 15-11 15-13. The battle of the left-handers saw many rallies played from the back of the court.

Those two wins meant that Sindhu's win against her former team could seal the tie for Hyderabad. But that was not to be. Sung Ji Hyun never allowed Sindhu to settle into a rhythm and won the first game 15-13. Sindhu found some form in the second to take the game 15-14 but Sung brushed her aside in the third game winning it 15-7.

It then fell to Kim Sa Rang and Eom Hye Won to see Hyderabad through, and they defeated the Adcocks to see Hyderabad through.

The sixth season of the Pro Kabaddi League is in its 12th and final leg, which ends on Thursday. Four days from the two eliminator playoffs in Kochi, the action is heating up. Bengal Warriors continued their unbeaten streak at home as they defeated Telugu Titans 39-34 on Tuesday, while the Tamil Thalaivas and Haryana Steelers played out a thrilling 40-40 tie.
Maninder Singh scored 12 raid points for Bengal Warriors, which made him the fastest man to reach 500 points in the Pro Kabaddi League - he achieved the milestone in just 56 matches. For Telugu Titans, Armaan top scored with 11 points.

Bengal Warriors, who have already qualified for the playoffs, ensured that Telugu Titans ended their campaign with a defeat. They got off to a flying start with Jang Kun Lee getting a super raid two minutes into the match. The Titans fought back to equalize the score to 7-7 after five minutes. However, Maninder continued to pick points for Bengal, and at the end of the first half, the Warriors led 23-15. They then inflicted an all-out in the 26th minute to lead 30-18. For Telugu Titans, Anand was a revelation as he picked up raid points at will. But Bengal were too far ahead, and Telugu Titans struggled to keep up, ending five points short and crashing out of the league.

The other match between Tamil Thalaivas and Haryana Steelers ended in a tie as Haryana scored two crucial points in the last minute. Monu Goyat and Ajay Thakur top-scored for Haryana and Thalaivas respectively, with 17 points each. The 40-40 tie meant that both teams finished bottom of the table in their respective zones.

Updated Date: Dec 26, 2018 14:06:22 IST