What’s the story?
Australian batsman David Warner has insisted that he remains ‘very good friends’ with Indian skipper Virat Kohli. A forthright conversation between the Sunrisers Hyderabad captain and his Royal Challengers Bangalore counterpart helped clear the air between them.
Warner revealed, “I had a chat with Virat. We are still friends, thankfully. I had a text conversation with him which is very nice of him. As we all know, we all got jobs to do. You guys (journalists) write – right or wrong. We players (do not read too much into it), that's how the game is. But, away from this, we are still very good friends.”
He added, “Sometimes on the field, we can take it too seriously. And for the emotions for the next hour, we might be thinking they are not going to be anymore this and that; but for us, we are all going to be friends (and) everything is taken care (of). It's a friendly environment, especially IPL and world cricket. We just love playing the game and making sure everyone is smiling (at the end of the day).”
Relationships between the Australian and Indian players began to sour as a result of an acrimonious tussle for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. With one controversy following another, run-ins both on and off the field threatened to take the attention from what was an intensely fought series.
The heart of the matter
Before the series started, Kohli had affirmed that he maintained friendly relations with most of the Australian players. However, at the end of the series, he declared that those friendships were over. This, despite visiting skipper Steven Smith issuing an unconditional apology.
Even though he went on to clarify that his comments had been blown out of proportion, Kohli reiterated that the statement did not encompass the entire Australian team but only a couple of players. Needless to say, his words drew the ire of various former cricketers from Down Under.
Having maintained that he would only take the field after regaining ‘120 percent’ fitness, Kohli may not be available for RCB’s next few games. On the other hand, Warner will be hoping to continue SRH’s momentum in their Sunday clash against Gujarat Lions.
With a candid chat helping them bury the hatchet, Warner and Kohli seem to have mended their friendship. It remains to be seen if the Indian captain goes on to have similar conversations with the other Australian cricketers.