India and Australia have a history of healthy rivalry with both teams believing in competing fiercely. However, the recently-concluded Border-Gavaskar series, which the hosts won 2-1, ended on an acrimonious note with India skipper Virat Kohli ‘unfriending’ some Australia cricketers at the end of the series.
While Kohli might not be sharing the same rapport with the Aussies anymore, India opener Rohit Sharma, who missed the series due to an injury, does not see any problem with the cricketers from down under. “We are pretty good friends. We all get along well,” said Rohit when asked about his bonding with the Australia cricketers.
“India and Australia have always been a good rivalry. We have seen that over the years. So, I was not surprised what happened in the series. When you play against a top side in the world, these things are bound to happen. But as far as one remembers not to cross the line and stay in the limits, that’s good. It is always a hard-fought battle between these two teams. Once you are in the battlefield, you are trying to give everything for your country. Some of the things were blown out of proportion for unnecessary reasons. Players know exactly what needs to be done on the field and what needs to be done outside the field.
“Yes, I did miss (being part of the action). But when you know you are injured, doing your rehab and stuff, it is hard to be in that position and see the team play. The most important thing for me was not to get frustrated and do unnecessary or unwanted things. So I was completely focused on my rehab and make sure these things don’t happen in the future,” said the Mumbai Indians skipper.
Former Aussie cricketers and the Australian media continued to target Kohli during the four-Test series. After the second Test in Bangalore, Kohli even fell short of calling the Australia captain Steven Smith ‘cheat’ during the DRS controversy. Smith’s defence was that he suffered a ‘brain fade’ when he had to make the decision to opt for DRS.
Despite the controversies, Rohit felt the Australia series was the best of the home season. “Against Australia was the best series. The way it went through from the first Test match, (India) losing it and then to bounce back was fantastic. This series was not just about individuals but there were lot of the other guys who came in at different times, performed and took up the challenge which is why I think it is the best series. Wickets were not so easy; it was a little challenging for the batters. Hats off to everybody who came in and batted, scored runs, took wickets at crucial junctions of the game, yeah it was wonderful to watch from the outside,” said Rohit.