DHARAMSALA, India (Reuters) - India captain Virat Kohli declared that his friendship with Australia’s cricketers was over after his team triumphed 2-1 in the acrimonious four-test series between the world’s top two test teams on Tuesday.
Despite his struggles with the bat, and an injury that kept him out of the final test, Kohli has remained in the eye of a raging storm since criticising counterpart Steve Smith, who acknowledged he had a ‘brain fade’ in the second test.
Smith had gestured to the dressing room seeking guidance on whether to review an umpiring decision in the Bengaluru test, although Australia dismissed Kohli’s allegation that the tourists had committed several such breaches of the rules.
The feisty India captain sustained a shoulder injury in the third test in Ranchi, where he was mocked by Australian Glenn Maxwell who clutched his shoulder after diving to save a boundary just like Kohli had done before hurting himself.
The bad blood spilled in the final test at Dharamsala too.
India’s Ravindra Jadeja exchanged words with Australian stumper Matthew Wade while Smith, according to the Cricket Australia website, was seen on TV mouthing abuse after Murali Vijay did not catch Josh Hazlewood cleanly but still appealed.
Kohli, asked if he still remained on friendly terms with the Australian cricketers, as he had said before the series, 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.”
Smith’s tone was more conciliatory as the Australia skipper apologised for his outburst after his team’s eight-wicket defeat at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium.
“I have sort of been very intense in my own little bubble, and at times I have let my emotions and actions just falter a little bit throughout this series and I apologise for that,” Smith said.
“That’s a big stride for me moving forward and something I can really learn from and continue to grow as an individual and as a leader.”
The 27-year-old, however, was upset that the media team of the Indian cricket board (BCCI) posted the video of the Jadeja-Wade spat on social media.
”I was a little bit disappointed that the BCCI sits through the archive to find a conversation out in the field that was happening between Matty and Jadeja.
“It happened between both sides throughout the series. The fact that they have done that to us is a little bit disappointing. I think usually what’s said on the field stays on the field.”
Editing by Ken Ferris