Smith says sorry but Kohli wants no friendships

Smith says sorry but Kohli wants no friendships

Sour aftertaste

Smith says sorry but Kohli wants no friendships
 Rarely has a series been fought with such bad blood. And rarely has a series left such bitter taste in the mouth. Even as Australia captain Steven Smith tried to strike a conciliatory note on Tuesday by tendering an apology, Virat Kohli made it clear that his friendship with the Australians was over.

Kohli had called Australians his good friends before the start of first Test in Pune. “I'm really good friends with all these guys off the field,” Kohli had said of his competitors. I know them really well, but I know where to draw the line of friendship.”

On Tuesday, when an Australian scribe asked if he still felt the same way, Kohli was short and icy. “No, it has changed. 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 I’ve been proven wrong. The thing I said before the first Test, that has certainly changed and you won’t hear me say that ever again.”

Smith, however, had an apology to offer on the concluding day of the tour. "I am sort of proud of my performances in this series. I set myself high standards and I wanted to lead from the front with my performances. I have sort of been very intense in my own little bubble and at times I have let my emotions and actions just falter a little bit throughout this series and I apologise for that. That's a big stride for me moving forward and something I can really learn from and continue to grow as an individual and as a leader."

Kohli was singularly targeted in the series, both by the former Australian players and the Australian tabloids. It all began in the Bengaluru Test, where Smith was caught looking at the dressing room for DRS assistance in a now infamous  “brain fade” moment. Kohli, however, accused the Australians of seeking help from the dressing room at least on two other occasions. He stopped just short of saying that the Australians were cheating.

It triggered a barrage of criticism aimed at Kohli, and new allegations and controversies surfaced with regularity during the remainder of the series.