Virat Kohli not being childish or silly, just telling Australia enough is enough

Deepak Vikraman
Steve Smith, Virat Kohli, India, Australia, Test series

Reuters

When Virat Kohli said "let's not be friends anymore" to the Australians when asked about his equation with the opposition players after a hard-fought, nose-bleed inducing Test series, the immediate thought was that "Oh c'mon now captain, that seems a little silly and childish."

Best Test series in recent memory, take a bow

After all, what's said on the field, should remain on the field right; there shouldn't be any ill feelings and all players should just be able to sit down and have a beer (or any other beverage of choice) at the end of the game.

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But then, you start to think a little more and you realise, there must be a reason why Kohli is feeling the way he is right now.

All their own rules

The problem with Australia and their "what's said on the field, should remain on the field" mantra is that, they, more often than not, take it as a reason to say whatever they want.

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Go over the top, make insulting comments, get personal, but hey, keep it on the field.

There is also the "as long as it doesn't cross the line" caveat brought out, when the Aussies are questioned over their "mind games" and sledging tactics.

But then, again, who decides where the line is? Australia, of course.

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They decide how far they can go with the chirping on the pitch, what they can and can't say and lo and behold, if anybody else even tries to bite back, let's go crying to the Australian media and make them write "mean" things about the opposition captain.

How the conversation might have gone

Australia player: Mate, Kohli hit a Gatorade bottle into our staff man, and it was bad!

 

Australian media: What! Really? Are you serious mate? That is unpardonable, let's think of some big words to use now for our articles.

 

Australia player: Mate, that thing that Kohli said about the DRS and Patrick Farhart, it isn't true, not at all. We would never do such things, never!

 

Australian media: Of course you wouldn't. Again, this Kohli guy. Well, now we have no choice, we must compare him to Donald Trump.

Australia are great at making their own rules and then jumping on the "how dare he, let's judge him" bandwagon, if there is even the slightest of hint of somebody giving it back. That, even in their heydays, was the case, and that trend shows no signs of changing.

Take a minute before judging Kohli

So, before you judge Kohli and call him a spoilt brat or childish or someone who cannot "take it", think and ask yourself why the captain of the India team would make such a statement.

Coming to somebody's own backyard and making your own rules and then changing them as they go along is something Australia might be comfortable doing, but there does come a point when "banter" on the field goes beyond just that, and all Kohli has done by making the "we are not friends anymore" statement is say that "listen, there is a line (not the one drawn by Australia according to their convenience) and if you cross that line, things will not magically be OK off the field."

And that is perfectly fine.

India copped quite a lot from Australia both on and off the field in this Test series, and while Kohli's men gave as good as they got, that doesn't mean all should be forgotten in a hurry.

The issues will, eventually, be driven away from the mind, of course, now that the IPL is around the corner. But, when India and Australia clash again – it could be in the semifinals or final of the ICC Champions Trophy in June – expect all those feelings to come right back out.

It might get out of hand, it might not, but one thing is for sure, when another India vs Australia match comes calling, it sure as hell is going to be interesting.

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