Virat Kohli slapped with 25% fine for excessive appealing against Afghanistan

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Indian captain and star batsman Virat Kohli has been handed a 25% match fee fine and penalised with one demerit point for excessive appealing and aggressive behaviour towards the umpires during Saturday's 11-run victory over Afghanistan at the Rose Bowl.

The 2011 World Cup champions were made to work hard for their victory after struggling with the bat earlier on.

India, who are one of two teams at the World Cup who are yet to lose a match, won the toss and decided to bat first, but their star-studded batting lineup failed to get going and could only manage 224/8 in their 50 overs, with Kohli the pick of the batsmen with 67.

Kohli's bowlers, however, were up for the task to defend their small total against an Afghanistan team whose abilities to perform at the highest level of ODI cricket have been very much exposed at the World Cup.

Nonetheless, India were pushed till the very end and had to rely on Mohammed Sami, who claimed four scalps for only 40 runs, to help his team dismiss Afghanistan for 211, which gave them a narrow, but another important, win.

Kohli, though, clearly felt the pressure at times when his side were on the field and had to defend the total.

Urgently needing wickets, the number one batsman in ODI and Test cricket was heard appealing on a constant basis, especially during the middle part of the game when he turned to his spin bowlers.

The 30-year-old was seen arguing with umpire Aleem Dar, one of the most experienced officials in the modern-day game, at this stage about the Afghanistan innings, which subsequently led to match-referee Chris Broad finding him guilty of breaching the code of conduct of article 2.1 of the ICC, which stops players on the field from ‘excessive appealing during an international match.'

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The Indian captain will now need to be careful and could face a match ban if he is handed two more demerit points this year.

India, who were one of the pre-tournament favourites, face England in a week's time and the result could have a significant influence on who the four semi-finalists will be and the team will need their captain to be available in order to claim a second World Cup crown.

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