I like to give it back: Kohli
Adelaide, Jan 26: Virat Kohli represents the fiery modern cricketer, unwilling to take taunts lying down. The batsman, who was in the news earlier for a run in with the crowd at Sydney, was once again involved in banter with the Australian cricketers before reaching his maiden Test hundred.
Speaking to the media at the end of Day 3, Kohli elaborated on the goings-on in the middle. Excerpts:
On reaching his century
Before that, after tea we lost two wickets in two balls again so I was pretty frustrated at that point of time. I didn’t want a repeat of what happened at Perth. So the next over I decided to go after [Ryan] Harris so that I could get runs off that over and finally when I got the 100th run, I was on cloud nine. When you start your cricket as a kid you always dream of achieving a Test century and the first one is always the most special, so I am really happy.
On the banter before he reached his century
[Ben] Hilfenhaus said something to me which was totally unnecessary; it came out of the blue, he wasn’t even bowling or anything. I survived that run-out chance and he said something to me [which] I can’t say in a press conference. I gave it back to him saying, ‘You didn’t have anything to do with it, why would you say that?’ Then Ishant [Sharma] and I both came together and started saying stuff to them […]. I usually play my cricket like that. I like to give it back. Whatever happened at the end of the day, I am pretty happy with what I did.
On whether he was prepared to lead the Indian batting in the future in Test cricket
Definitely. I always wanted to be a successful Test player for India and hopefully this can be the start for me. I hope I can be consistent going ahead in Test cricket.
On the hundred being a good response to the flak received from the crowd
To give it back verbally and then to score a hundred is even better. We don’t go out there to take any kind of stuff from anyone. We are international cricketers as well […] and we need to let them know that be it in any way, by talking and by performing. So it is much more satisfying [to have scored the ton].
On David Warner and Ed Cowan
He wasn’t saying much; he congratulated me on my hundred. Both of them did, actually. They didn’t say anything to me. It was pretty low key till that incident happened and all of them came together, but nothing major happened. It was normal [talk] that always goes on.
On what Ricky Ponting said during the incident in the middle
He just told me to not give it back or I might get in trouble. He was pretty mature about that.
On the crowd’s behaviour towards Indian players here in comparison to the Indian crowd’s behaviour towards Australian players
I haven’t spoken about that to the Australian players [but] it is really frustrating at times because they say stuff which shouldn’t be said on a cricket field. We go out there to play and not get abused like that. […] It’s not fair on the players because if the player says anything, [then] he is fined and banned [while] the crowd can just say anything and go home […].