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James Faulkner tries to sledge Virat Kohli, gets fitting reply in return

Kohli-Faulkner duel spices up first innings

Virat Kohli batting in the 3rd ODI

The ODI series between Australia and India is seeing a lot of big totals being posted, and as expected on a tour Down Under, the mind games have been going on to add spark to the flame as well.

The 35th over of India’s innings in the 3rd ODI at the MCG saw a clash of words between India’s Virat Kohli and Australia’s James Faulkner. India had reached 171/2 in 34 overs, and Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane were at the crease with scores of 72 and 19 respectively.

Even as Kohli tried to hit his shots and increase the scoring rate, Faulkner’s first four deliveries of the 35th over were stopped within the inner circle. Four dot balls put some pressure on Kohli, and he stepped out of his crease on the fifth – only to guide the ball to the off side for a single.

Faulkner, in true Aussie spirit, thought of trying to increase the pressure on Kohli, and was seen saying something to him, most probably to the tune of ‘You tried to smash me there, but you failed.’ He had earlier tried to rattle Kohli after the third ball, to which Kohli had reacted by looking down and waving him away. This time though, he was at the non-striker’s end and he had to respond.

The stump mic caught Kohli saying clearly, with a beam on his face, ‘I’ve smashed you enough in my life. Don’t waste your time, go bowl.’ This time, it was Faulker’s turn to put his head down and walk back to his mark.

The next over elicited the same amount of aggression, as Kohli first launched a ball into the skies which fell just short of Shaun Marsh, and then succeeded in launching the ball out of the park, scoring 12 runs of the 36th over.

Faulkner did come back to bowl one over after the drinks break that ensued, but Kohli did not face him. The duel between Kohli and Faulkner, which Kohli definitely trumped when he put the bowler in his place, has been one of the first innings’ most delicious encounters.

Kohli earlier became the fastest to reach 7000 ODI runs, and is well set to reach his first century of the series.

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