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Why Virat Kohli is defensive on ‘not friends with Australians’ comment

Virat Kohli clarified his comments that he was no longer friends with Australians were directed at only a couple of individuals and not the whole team.

cricket Updated: Mar 30, 2017 16:35 IST
HT Correspondent
India captain Virat Kohli and Australia captain Steve Smith have shared a stormy equation during the India vs Australia Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
India captain Virat Kohli and Australia captain Steve Smith have shared a stormy equation during the India vs Australia Border-Gavaskar Trophy.(PTI)

Virat Kohli’s anger with Australia over their repeated jibes reached the tipping point after the Dharamsala Test in Border-Gavskar Trophy. The India captain said he was no longer friends with the team from Down Under.

The coment took the cricket world as several former players said that Kohli’s comment was very un-captain like.

Kohli, who will lead Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League (IPL), clarified that his comments were directed at only a couple of individuals and not the whole team.

Read | Did Glenn Maxwell mock Virat Kohli during India vs Australia Ranchi Test?

“My answer at the post match conference has been blown way out of proportion. I did not categorically say the whole Australian team but only a couple of individuals,” Kohli wrote on Twitter.

“I continue to be in good terms with the few guys I know & who I’ve played with at RCB & that doesn’t change.”

Smith was asked at the Royal Pune Supergiant news conference about Virat Kohli’s clarification and whether he felt he was one of the players who the India skipper aimed his comment at. It led to a lot of laughter before Smith answered.

“I guess you should put the question to Virat, I reckon. The series is done and dusted. I said after the series that India were the favourites... I’m ready to take on the IPL role...”

Shane Watson, Travis Head and Billy Stanlake are the three Australian players in the Kohli-led RCB.

Read | ‘Virat Kohli classless, childish’: unrelenting Aussie media continues hate ‘war’

An Australian reporter had asked, after the Dharamsala Test, if Kohli still considered Steve Smith’s men his friends off the field as he had said at the start of the series.

Virat Kohli replied: “No, it has changed for sure. I thought that was the case but it has changed for sure. As I said in the heat of the battle, you want to be competitive but yeah I have been proven wrong. The thing I said before the first Test, I have certainly been proven wrong and you won’t hear me say that ever again.”

Virat Kohli had stopped short of calling Steve Smith a cheat for his ‘DRS Brain Fade’ moment after which a section of Australian cricketers and their media targeted the India captain. The Daily Telegraph went on to call Virat Kohli “the Donald Trump of world sport.”

Even Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland said Kohli “perhaps does not know the spelling of sorry”.