Former Australian captain Allan Border has come out in support of Virat Kohli attributing his "over the top" on-field demeanour to passion and saying that the game needs characters such as the Indian captain.
Kohli was seen particularly animated during Australia's second innings in the Perth Test match where he celebrated the fall of every wicket with more verve than his usual frenetic fervour. He even got into the face of Aussie captain, Tim Paine at one point forcing the umpire to intervene.
This attitude of Kohli has drawn a lot of criticism from various people including Mike Hussey, Sanjay Manjrekar and familiar adversary Mitchell Johnson. Indian film actor, Naseeruddin Shah also weighed in on the matter and called Kohli the "worst behaved player".
Amid such widespread criticism, Border has defended Kohli while speaking to Fox Sports in the latest episode of their podcast, The Follow-on.
"There's not many characters in our game at the moment. The professional era has sort of beaten that out to a certain degree," he told the program.
"It's good to see guys with that passion, drive and a bit of character. I haven't seen anyone sort of carry on so much as a captain when his side takes a wicket.
"It's really over the top but it's good in a way. You can see some passion about what he's trying to do."
Border believes that Kohli's fire on the pitch stems from a keen desire to win a Test series abroad.
"He's so keen to win away from home and really deserve that number one ranking ... that's your KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) as a captain I suppose," he said.
"To drive the team to be number one, which he's achieved, but to win away from home is one of those important things you notice as a captain.
"I think he's feeling that pinch."
Border further said that, in his opinion, Kohli feels the need to be more passionate than he perhaps should be because he leads a bunch of players who are quiet.
"If you look at this Indian side he's probably the only one that has the character to get really animated."
"The rest of the Indian boys are very good cricketers but seem to me a quiet bunch and maybe Kohli feels as skipper he needs to lead from the front and really show some passion and drive. I think it just comes naturally to him."