'I'm friends with some of the Australians, but not all of them'

Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli watches his teammates during the three-day tour match between India and WICB President's XI squad at the Warner Park stadium in Basseterre, Saint Kitts, on July 14, 2016.Image copyright
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Kohli missed the final Test of the series against Australia

Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli has said comments about his friendship with Australian players have been “blown out of proportion”.

He said his comments were not about the “whole Australian team”.

Prior to the first Test, Kohli had said he was “really good friends with all these guys off the field”.

But at a post match conference after India won the series on Tuesday, he said: “No, it has changed. You won’t hear me say that ever again.”

The Indian captain tweeted on Thursday, after his comments received widespread coverage in both Australian and Indian media.

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Virat Kohli

Image copyright
Virat Kohli

Meanwhile, former Australian cricketer Brad Hodge has apologised for suggesting Kohli was saving himself for the “cash-rich” Twenty20 cricket.

India won the Test final against Australia without the skipper, who sustained an on-field shoulder injury.

“You would think that your captain would get out there and get amongst the fight,” Hodge said in a TV interview.

The backlash threatened to eclipse his season opener for the Indian Premier League coaching the Gujarat Lions.

During the series, Kohli said Australia captain Steve Smith “crossed the line” by trying to get help from his dressing room with the decision review system.

India were thrashed by 333 runs in the opening Test, but levelled with victory in the second.

During that game, Smith was caught looking for assistance as he considered reviewing an lbw decision, which is banned. Smith described his actions as “a bit of brain-fade”.

Kohli injured his shoulder as he dived to save a boundary during the drawn third Test, and Australian Glenn Maxwell was accused of mocking him later in the match.

Without Kohli, India went on to win the fourth Test, during which the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) put a video on its website of a spat between all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja and Australia wicketkeeper Matthew Wade.

“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,” said Smith.

“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.”

Smith said he was “a bit disappointed” the BCCI had posted the video of Jadeja and Wade.

He added: “It happened between both sides throughout the series. I think usually what’s said on the field stays on the field.”

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