VIRAT Kohli has elaborated on his sledging exchange with James Faulkner – delivering another slap to the Australian all-rounder.
The Indian batting superstar told Faulkner: “I’ve smashed you enough in my life. No point (sledging). Just go and bowl” as the Aussie chirped at him during Sunday’s ODI at the MCG.
Rather than play down the banter, Kohli has now declared his “perfectly timed” riposte to Faulkner was “actually not far off from the truth”.
Kohli, who was on 72 when the exchange occurred, finished with 117 – albeit in a losing side.
“That’s the kind of banter that keeps going on in the field. Well we all are pretty used to it by now,” Kohli said, in response to a fan question on the Indian team’s Facebook page.
“It’s happening on a regular basis nowadays. Cricket has become really, really competitive and people will try and disrupt you in any way possible.
“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 didn’t 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.”
Kohli has hit 267 runs this series (91, 59, 119), although his sparkling form has seen him take just 34 runs from Faulkner, who got him out in the first match.
Kohli also addressed Australia’s sledging generally in the chat, saying he thrived on the hostile environment and the Aussies did not take banter too far.
He said he believed cricketers were now self-policing their behaviour due to the enormous presence of technology on the field, ready to potentially capture every action or word.
“I don’t think nowadays people cross the line, because you have so many cameras and mics all around the field that you can’t get away with it,” he said.
“It has become really competitive, so they will try and annoy you in every way possible. They’re very competitive on the field, they like to talk a lot when you are playing against them, especially when they are fielding.
“They make it very challenging for you. I personally enjoy that environment, I enjoy that challenge. It’s certainly something that I feel is not bad for cricket, as far as the competitive aspect of the game is concerned.
“No, they (Australian players) do not cross the line. They very well know what to say and when to say it, so you have to be smart enough to tackle that and still focus on your game.”