What’s the story?
Just as it appeared that things had calmed down at the end of an intense four-match Test series, Virat Kohli dealt a final parting blow that is sure to sting the visitors for a long time to come. India’s skipper Kohli had been at the thick of the action during the course of the series, whether he was on the field, injured, or off it.
Extra cover: Kohli likely to miss start of IPL 2017
Australia’s skipper Steven Smith, who had a fabulous series with the bat, was gracious in defeat –
Steve Smith has apologised twice (in presentation n PC) for letting emotions get better of him this series. Classy! #INDvAUS— Chetan Narula (@chetannarula) March 28, 2017
But Kohli made sure the visitors knew that he wasn’t impressed with their aggression through the course of their tour –
Virat Kohli in PC on whether his friendship with AUS players has changed: Yes that has changed. I didn't expect it to. But it has! #INDvAUS— Chetan Narula (@chetannarula) March 28, 2017
Virat in PC: In the heat of battle you want to be competitive, but I have been proven wrong. You wont hear me say this ever again. #IndvAus— Chetan Narula (@chetannarula) March 28, 2017
The Aussies made sure the hosts knew they were up for the battle when they won the first Test in Pune comprehensively. Things started getting ugly during the second Test in Bengaluru when Smith’s DRS ‘brain fade’ took the focus away from a fine win for India.
In Ranchi, both the teams were guilty of mocking each other after Kohli’s shoulder injury became the focus of the game. The fourth Test saw some very competitive cricket, but nothing untoward, except a discussion between Jadeja and Wade, with both parties settling it amicably. No one expected the backlash from Kohli in the presser that followed.
Kohli made sure the visitors knew what he thought of the treatment that was meted out to him during the tour. On the face of it, it appeared that the Indians gave back as good as they got, but by the skipper's words, you can be sure that there was plenty that wasn't caught on camera.
He was also vilified by the Australian media. First, he made it to the 'Vettel of the week' contest in Australia where they vote for the biggest sports villains, and later, he was likened to Donald Trump.
While he sat out the fourth Test, he certainly made his point at the very last second during the post-series press conference between the captains.
Smith apologizes. Kohli indicates friendships are over.— Melinda Farrell (@melindafarrell) March 28, 2017
What a shame it comes to this after such a brilliant series...
Australia and India could be in action against each other very soon, should the two teams meet at the ICC Champions Trophy in June. Smith and Kohli both lead their sides respectively and you can expect things to be intense if the two sides face each other.
Even before that, the captains’ paths could cross during this year’s IPL, when Smith’s Rising Pune Supergiant face Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore.
It is very hard to defend Virat Kohli at this moment. However, there is plenty that goes on during the match that we don’t have access to. While the Australians did indeed have a go at Kohli for most of the series, the Indians were guilty (even if less so) of the same.
In hindsight, Kohli might wonder if he could have used a better choice of words at the end of the long tour. It does end the series on a very, very sour note.