India and South Africa will face off in a Pool B match at Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on Sunday (February 22). India have never beaten Proteas at the World Cup, losing all three. (Kohli's unfinished work Vs SA)
Speaking to the media on Saturday, Kohli said he was good friends with Steyn after having spent three years together at Indian Premier League (IPL) team Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) but added when he walks out to play tomorrow it is only about dominating the opposition bowler. (Points Table)
"Well, I would say the exact same thing for Dale (Steyn). I played with him in RCB for three years, and we became such good friends that we've carried on our friendship after that, as well, and whenever I meet him he gives me the biggest hug, and it's been consistent throughout," Kohli said when told about Steyn speaking about their friendship earlier today.
"Even if we have to play a game before that we are always really friendly. We know on the field come game time, I'll be looking to dominate him and he'll be looking to dominate me, which is a mutual respect kind of a thing, I guess," he added.
The right-hander, who struck a century in India's opening victory against Pakistan in Adelaide last Sunday (February 15), said Steyn is a "special" friend for him.
"Whatever is said and done at that point of time, it's taken into good sportsman's spirit because we know after the game we'll obviously be best buddies again. I think I've shared a great friendship with a lot of South African players over the years, and Dale has to be one of the more special ones, and I can say the same thing for him, he's a completely different person on the field, which is absolutely fine."
Kohli emphasised that fact that when it comes to playing, Steyn is aggressive but off the field he is different.
"He's very aggressive. He's obviously very passionate about playing for South Africa. There's a good reason why he's the best bowler in the world for a while now, and he's so consistent because he has that mentality, and off the field he's a complete different person, you know, jokes around, he laughs all the time, and you wouldn't know unless you know him.
"I think it's pretty similar with me and him, how we are on the field and off the field. That's why I think we get along really well together."
One of the key battles in tomorrow's game will be between Kohli and Steyn. And it should be an even contest.
For now, there will be nothing friendly between the two at MCG, when play starts.