Canberra, Jan 19: Australian cricketers can't do without sledging the opposition and they must be given a fitting retort, feels the usually aggressive Virat Kohli who walked his talk by giving it back to James Faulkner in third ODI at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).
"That banter keeps going on. We are pretty used to it. It is happening on a regular basis in international cricket. The game has become really competitive and people will try to disrupt you in anyway possible," said Kohli in an online interaction today. (I don't plan for records: Kohli)
"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 when he became the fastest to complete 24 ODI tons and 7,000 runs.
Asked specifically about sledging by Australians, he said: "I don't think people cross the line these days with so many cameras around. The game has become competitive so they (Australians) will try to annoy you. Especially when they are fielding. I personally enjoy that challenge. It is not bad for cricket as far as the competitive aspect is concerned."
Kohli was batting on 73 when Faulkner tried to rile him up. "You're wasting your energy. There's no point, I've smashed you enough in my life. Just go and bowl," Kohli was heard telling Faulkner, who challenged the Indian to go after his bowling.
"Smile. Having fun aren't we"? the Australian responded. The incident happened as Kohli completed a single at the non-striker's end when Faulkner was returning to his bowling mark in the 35th over of the Indian innings.
Faulkner tried to instigate Kohli and the batsman responded in kind. Their utterances were caught in the stump microphone.