Combative Kohli fires verbal salvos

Combative Kohli fires verbal salvos

Virat Kohli was in a mood to blow kisses on Sunday afternoon. Not just to his girlfriend and Bollywood actor Anushka Sharma, who was in the stands to watch his batting, but to Mitchell Johnson as well.

The right-hander had a few run-ins with Johnson on the day en route his commanding 169. It all began when Johnson took shy at stumps on his follow-through but it hit Kohli early in his innings. Though the bowler said sorry, Kohli was in no mood to let go the incident.

“It was going on throughout the day,” Kohli pointed out later during his press-do. “They were calling me a spoilt brat and I said maybe that’s the way I am. You guys hate me and I like that. I don’t mind having a chat on the field and it worked in my favour I guess. I like playing against Australia because it is very hard for them to stay calm and I don’t mind an argument on the field and it really excites me and brings the best out of me. So, they don’t seem to be learning the lesson,” he noted.

Kohli was reminded of the Brisbane incident when Rohit Sharma passed a remark that fired up Johnson who scored a 93-ball-88 that took the match away from India’s grasp. “There he was batting (in Brisbane) and there was no pressure on him as a batsman because that’s not his job,” Kohli reasoned.

“His job is to take wickets and he was going at 4.7 runs an over today, didn’t get a wicket throughout the day and I backed myself to take him on even when I kept talking to him. I decided whenever he comes on to bowl I will back myself and take him on. I don’t mind having a word back neither does he. So it kept going on,” he explained.

Kohli said some of the Australian cricketers don’t deserve his respect. “I respect quite a few of them,” he began when asked if he respects the Australians. “… But if someone doesn’t respect me I have no reason to respect him. There were words in Adelaide as well where they said no unnecessary respect for him. I said I don’t need it. I am out here to play cricket, not to earn anyone’s respect. As long as I am scoring runs, I am happy with it. If you like it, it’s good and if you don’t, I am not bothered. I don’t really need what they think as far as respecting me or me respecting them is concerned. I have got a nice friendship with a few of them. Friendly chats yes, but if someone is saying anything that comes to his mouth, I have no reason to respect him.”

Australian paceman Ryan Harris appeared perplexed when asked about Kohli’s comments. "I don't know how to answer that,” said Harris. “We all respect him. He's a pretty good player so I don't know where he gets that from. I respect him and I know all the boys in the change room respect him because he has come out and his bat does the talking. We try not to say too much to him, but sometimes he brings it on himself I guess when he starts it.

“It's interesting to hear him say that. It's probably a good thing. Because he's probably worried about that, we need him to worry about that instead of batting. If he's worrying about stuff like that, hopefully his batting goes downhill. That's probably the way we think,” he elaborated.
 STAT WATCH: * Virat Kohli became the second Indian batsman to post three centuries in a Test series in Australia.  Gavaskar, in successive games, had registered a hundred each at Brisbane, Perth and Melbourne in the 1977-78 series.

* Brad Haddin became the fourth Australian wicketkeeper and the ninth in Test annals to complete 250 dismissals. He has accomplished the feat in 62 Tests.

* Sachin Tendulkar (six), Sunil Gavaskar (five), VVS Laxman (four) and Kohli (four) are Indian players who made four hundreds or more against Australia in Australia.

* Ajinkya Rahane and Kohli were involved in a stand of 262, India’s highest stand in the last 10 years outside Asia, and it is India’s second highest for the fourth wicket overseas behind the 353 between VVS Laxman and Sachin Tendulkar at Sydney in January 2004.

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