Former Australian greats have their say on Virat Kohli's 'friendship' comments
What’s the story?
Former Australian greats Steve Waugh and Shane Warne have given their opinion on Kohli’s ‘friendship’ comments against the Australian cricketers, urging Kohli to rethink his stance against them. While Steve Waugh has said that Kohli will regret his utterances about his future relationships with the Aussies, while Warne said he would be disappointed if Kohli didn’t rethink his “heat of the moment” comment.
In case you didn’t know…
In the most match press conference at Dharamsala, Kohli had expressed his displeasure at the behaviour of the Australian team. When asked about his equation with his Aussie counterparts, Kohli said that it had certainly changed.
While Steve Smith apologised and offered an olive branch, the Indian players stood by their stand, with Kohli saying he thought things happened in the heat of the competition, but he had been proven wrong.
He later said that his comments were ‘blown out of proportion’, and he was still friends with the Australians who he knows and has played with in the IPL with.
The heart of the matter
Waugh said that mistakes did happen on both sides, but when Steve Smith apologised, the matter should have ended then and there. He said it would have been best to dissipate the “simmering tension” between the two sides, instead of stretching it far.
Warne said that Kohli is a “likeable guy who plays with passion”, but he will be disappointed if Kohli did not rethink what he said about the Australians. Warne recalled that even he had instances of his career when he went overboard, but laughed about it more or less in the times that followed.
Steve Smith, captain of the Rising Pune Supergiant, laid to rest all news of unrest by stating that the series had been done and dusted, and the focus would now shift to the IPL. Kohli, on the other hand, doesn’t have anyone from the current Australian Test team in the RCB setup, and is most likely to miss the first few opening games of the tournament owing to a recovering shoulder.
An intensely fought series brought out the best from the players, and while a little bit of banter is healthy for the game, it is imperative that certain lines aren’t crossed. While Kohli stated his personal opinion in saying that he does not have the same friendly equation with the Aussies anymore, he should also keep in mind that while captaining the side, he represents the team, and should be careful about what opinion he puts out.
With the T20 extravaganza arriving in the form of the IPL, the bad blood between the two sides will surely be dissipated quick enough, with a common franchise to play for and a common goal to achieve.