India vs Australia: Steve Smith unsure if Virat Kohli hinted at him in 'couple of individuals' comment

PTI, Mar, 30 2017

New Delhi: Beleaguered captain Steve Smith on Thursday said he was not sure if he was one of the "couple of individuals" from the Australian team who Virat Kohli did not want to be friends with, his expression belying the unease in the aftermath of an acrimonious Test series.

At the end of one of the most bitterly-fought but intense Test series in recent times, Kohli had stated that he would no longer be friends with Australian cricketers, only to insist two days later that his comment was blown out of proportion.

"My answer at the post match conference has been blown way out of proportion. I did not categorically say the whole Australian team but....," read Kohli's first tweet.

Virat Kohli and Steve Smith did not exactly share the friendliest of relations during the recently-concluded Test series. AFP

Virat Kohli and Steve Smith did not exactly share the friendliest of relations during the Test series. AFP

"Only a couple of individuals. I continue to be in good terms with the few guys I know & who I've played with at RCB & that doesn't change," he wrote in his second tweet.

When told about Kohli's clarification, Smith, who will be leading Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) in the 10th edition of the IPL starting 5 April, said, "That is for Virat to answer. I don't know if I am one of those couple of players Virat was hinting at in his tweet today."

"For me the series is done and dusted and India have outplayed us. I am now ready to lead a new bunch of team at the Pune Supergiant."

Supergiant's new skipper Smith was in the capital alongside Ajinkya Rahane and the Indian Premier League (IPL) team's new signing Ben Stokes.

The 2017 Border-Gavaskar Test series has turned out to be one of the lowest points in relations between the Indian and Australian cricket teams, with players from both sides not holding themselves back from having a go at each other.

At the post match media conference on Tuesday after India beat Australia in the deciding Test in Dharamsala, Kohli had said he does not consider Australian cricketers as his friends anymore.

When asked by an Australian scribe about friendship with the cricketers from Down Under, Kohli gave a no-holds-barred response.

"No, it has changed for sure. I thought that was the case but it has changed for sure. As I said in the heat of the battle, you want to be competitive but yeah I have been proven wrong. The thing I said before the first Test, I have certainly been proven wrong and you won't hear me say that ever again."

Meanwhile, India's stand-in skipper for the Dharamsala Test, Rahane said he could not accept the invitation for beers with the Australians as he was busy celebrating with his own teammates in the Indian dressing room.

"We had our own celebrations together in our dressing rooms and I was busy there. It was a very well-fought series and we had to enjoy after long and successful season," Rahane said.

Asked about their contrasting styles while leading the side, Rahane said, "I am calm and cool, and that brings the best out of me, while Virat is aggressive and that brings the best out of him."

"Virat is a great leader, a great ambassador of the game. He has done so well for the country."

Like Smith, Rahane too said that it was time to leave the Test series behind and look ahead to the IPL.

"It was a well -fought series and we all played good cricket. Credit goes to the Australia for the way they played. But I believe in staying in the present. My focus is on the IPL now."

Published Date: Mar 30, 2017 | Updated Date: Mar 30, 2017



Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 4493 125
2 South Africa 3395 110
3 England 4097 105
4 Australia 3087 100
5 New Zealand 3114 97
Rank Team Points Rating
1 South Africa 5957 119
2 Australia 5505 117
3 India 4717 115
4 England 5645 113
5 New Zealand 5123 111
Rank Team Points Rating
1 New Zealand 1625 125
2 England 1962 123
3 Pakistan 2417 121
4 West Indies 2222 117
5 India 2183 115