By Ashok Kumar
Virat Kohli’s recent statement, after the Test series win that Australians are no longer his friends has evoked yet another controversy of sorts. Soon after the Dharamsala Test Virat was asked if he still considered Steve Smith’s men his friends off the field as he had said at the start of the series, Kohli gave a very definite answer.
“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,” Kohli said. It may be recalled after the Indian Test tour of Australia Vrat and Glenn Maxwell had appeared on a video together in a display of close friendship, chatting and having beer sessions.
Thing were going very well after that but that soured after the “Brain fade” episode during the Bengaluru Test. To make things from bad to worse, were the Murali Vijay’s catch off Josh Hazelwood and Kohli’s injury at Ranchi added fuel to the fire.
The Australians were warned before the start of the series to refrain from firing up Kohli.
Former Australia batsman Michael Hussey had advised Smith and his men not to risk riling Kohli during the four-match Qantas Tour of India.
“I wouldn’t try and fire him up,” Hussey told cricket.com.au before the start of the series.”I think he thrives on that and he’s a real competitor.
“He loves being in the fight and loves the contest out in the middle.
“I’d make sure we have some very clear plans and we try and stick to them as best as we possibly can.”There’s no need to get involved in that sort of verbal barrage because I think that fires him up even more.
“You don’t want to get carried away with too much talk and lose your concentration of what’s important, which is executing your skills.
“The team that wins will be the one that can execute their skills at the highest quality and for the longest period of time. Kohli made it clear that the team is highly motivated and would give it back if poked. The infamous Mitchel Johnson and Kohli ‘s verbal spat during the MCG test. “I respect quite a few of them but someone who doesn’t respect me I’ve got no reason to respect him,” Kohli noted at the end of that match.