Former India captain Sourav Ganguly believes Virat Kohli will not necessarily hold true to his post-match comments that he will never again address Australian cricketers as his friends.
After India won the much maligned four-Test series against Australia with an eight-wicket victory in Dharamsala, Australia captain Steve Smith attempted to leave the water under the bridge with an apology tendered to his Indian opponents.
However, Kohli, in his post-match press conference, confessed that he had been proven wrong for his comments before the series began that the Australian players were his friends. He said he would never be heard calling them friends ever again.
However, Ganguly suggested Kohli might have spoken on impulse and would forget about the events of the series in due course.
“I am sure he will loosen up with time. He should forget what happens with the Australian players on the ground [sledging]. That is competitiveness. But what happens with media and ex-players getting into sledging the opposition captain wasn’t right. It is not their job,” Ganguly was quoted as saying by India Today.
Having played against the Australian side in the past, Ganguly is privy to their tactics and the passion surrounding the nation’s cricket ecosystem; from ex-players, to media, to administrators.
“That’s the way Australia have always played their cricket from the Steve Waugh days,” Ganguly said.
“I don’t consider there was bad blood. I consider there was competition. Both Virat and Smith should be happy they could put up a show. Both boards and players should get over it,” he concluded.
Ganguly was known to engage in mind games when facing Australian opposition while he captained the Indian side.
During the 2011 Test series between India and Australia, Ganguly infuriated Australian captain Steve Waugh by coming out late for the traditional toss between captains.
Ganguly later said that it was because he had misplaced his jacket — to be worn by each captain when attending the toss with the umpires — while Waugh thought Ganguly was attempting to get under his skin.