Sydney, Jan 22: India's star batsman Virat Kohli today downplayed his altercations with Australian all-rounder James Faulkner stating that the exchange of words were only for fun and he doesn't go to a cricket field to "fight".
The ongoing 5-ODI series between Australia and India has not witnessed any ugly incidents on the field barring Kohli and Faulkner exchanging few words during the 3rd and 4th matches in Melbourne and Canberra respectively. So far it has been one-way traffic with the hosts leading 4-0 and aiming for a whitewash. (Maxwell clarifies his comments on Kohli)
Australians, who always play aggressively and never miss a chance to target a rival player, have so far kept away from any sledging. However, all-rounder Faulkner targeted Kohli when the latter was batting at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).
The 27-year-old Kohli, who too is aggressive, did not take a backward step. His reply to Faulkner's taunts was "I have smashed you enough in my life. You are wasting your energy."
After this, the duo again came face to face in Canberra. The result, as in the previous game, Kohli won. The batsman smashed the left-arm paceman for a six and boundaries. In both contests, Kohli hit centuries. He now has 25 ODI hundreds.
Also, when Faulkner missed a run out in Canberra, Kohli taunted him asking whether was he "fast asleep".
Now, ahead of the 5th and final ODI in Sydney, Kohli clarified that he did not abuse the bowler and they were only cheeky fun statements at the Australian.
"To be really honest, it's just for fun. It becomes irrelevant
after a point. Because I don't go to the field thinking
I'm going to fight with someone today. I'm in a good head
space. I'm pretty happy with
where I stand. I'm trying my best for the team every time I go to play," Kohli told reporters on Friday (January 22).
"Just like to have a bit of fun with any kind of argument on the field. It's been very different from the last few instances this time. It's more been sort of cheeky fun statements, rather than guys swearing at each other or using bad words, which is fair enough on the field. People watching should have some fun as well. That makes the sport more entertaining.
"My focus is always to go out there and perform as well as I can. The good thing is that these things don't bother me. Once I know what I have to do on the field it's pretty one dimensional and I try to execute my plan. These things really don't bother me much. It's just having a bit of fun out there because you're playing stressful cricket all the time. There's no harm in having a little cheeky chat with the opponent sometimes.," Kohli added.
The Indian Test captain also reiterated that the players had a job to entertain the fans and he was having some fun in both matches.
Recently, in an interaction with his fans on Facebook, Kohli had said on the incident, "The opposition has every right to use that as long as it doesn't cross the line. And you have every right to reply as long as it doesn't cross the line again.
"I think there have been a lot of smart comments over the years and mine turned out to be a perfectly timed one. I did not intend to do that, I just said what came to mind, which was actually not far off from the truth. That banter is enjoyable on the field but at the same time you need to focus on your game. That was a fun moment, I guess."