Virat Kohli says he enjoys the challenge of Australian sledging
Despite the ongoing ODI series having been decided in Australia’s favour 4-0 already, there have been several bright spots in the Indian team – one of them being how the Indian team have reacted under the pressure put on them by the Australian players and the crowd.
The third ODI at Brisbane was stage to a particularly talked up encounter between James Faulkner and Virat Kohli, who had an on-field banter before Kohli launched a six in the next over.
Faulkner tried to get under Kohli’s skin after bowling four consective dot balls to him, and Kohli replied by saying "You're wasting your energy. There's no point, I've smashed you enough in my life. Just go and bowl.”
Talking in an online interaction, Kohli said that banter is something that is expected in international cricket, and that a reply is warranted when the Australians sledge.
"That banter keeps going on. The game has become really competitive and people will try to disrupt you in anyway possible. Especially when they are fielding. I personally enjoy that challenge.”
Kohli himself is always seen at silly mid-off or silly mid-on during close chases, putting pressure on batsmen with his presence. He puts in dives to stop runs, and is also often guilty of slightly overemphatic send-offs.
My comment turned out to be perfectly timed: Kohli
Kohli said that on-field pressure by fielders on a batsman does not bother him, rather that he enjoys replying to them. Talking specifically of his duel with Faulkner, he said that his reply had been well-timed, referring to the six he hit in the next over.
"The opposition has every right to sledge as long as it doesn't not cross the line and you have every right to reply as long as it is doesn't cross the line. There have been lot of smart comments of late and mine turned out to be a perfectly timed one.
“I did not intend to do that. I just said what came to mind. It was actually not far from the truth. That banter is enjoyable but at the same time, you need to focus on the game," said Kohli, who made 117 on Sunday and became the fastest to complete 24 ODI tons and 7000 runs.