Kohli offers clarification on Australian-friendships comment



Smith disappointed with BCCI, Kohli says ‘friends no more’

Virat Kohli has tweeted a clarification on his post-match comments in Dharamsala, where he had said he wouldn’t be calling the Australian players his friends “ever again”. On Thursday morning he tweeted that he was referring to only a “couple of individuals”, and that his comment had been blown out of proportion.

Before the four-Test series had begun, Kohli had spoken warmly about his friendships with all of the Australian players, saying: “I’m really good friends with all these guys off the field. I know them really well, but I know where to draw the line of friendship. When you step onto the field, I could be playing against my big brother it wouldn’t matter.”

When once again asked about his equation with them off the field after the series, Kohli had said: “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.”

The series had featured several high-intensity moments, both on and off the field, the biggest of which came after the second game in Bengaluru. In the post-match press conference there, Kohli had said Australia captain Steven Smith had looked to his dressing room for help in deciding whether to refer his lbw decision, and Australia had been doing the same previously too. That prompted both boards to come out strongly behind their teams, before the ICC said no one would be charged – neither Australia for a DRS protocol breach, nor Kohli for his allegations – and asked the teams to move on; the BCCI filed an official appeal after that, but withdrew it hours later.

Smith, who had termed his action in Bengaluru as a brain fade, had said before the third Test that Kohli’s comments on Australia breaching DRS protocols more than once in the series were “completely wrong”. After the series ended, he said he was disappointed with the BCCI for airing on-field exchanges between Ravindra Jadeja and Matthew Wade through a video clip on its website, while also apologising for letting his own “actions falter a little bit throughout this series”.

ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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