India skipper Virat Kohli on Thursday downplayed controversial remarks about ditching Australian cricketers as friends, saying his comments were blown out of proportion and he remained on good terms with some players. Kohli, who on Tuesday, post the Indian win over Australia in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, had stated that his friendship with the Australian team was over, later clearly stated in a tweet that his comment was not meant for the entire Australian team, but few specific individual players.
Kohli's Bengaluru-based Twenty20 side includes Australians Shane Watson, Travis Head and Billy Stanlake, while pacemen Mitchell Starc and Kane Richardson also played for the team under his stewardship last season.
Australia coach Darren Lehmann on Wednesday said he is disappointed with India captain Virat Kohli for declaring that he is no longer friends with Australian players after an aggressively-contested Test series.
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Earlier, Kohli also invited a flurry of criticism for his post-match comments, with the Australian media describing the Indian skipper as "classless", "childish'and 'egomaniac".
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Labelling Kohli an "egomaniac", a headline in Sydney's Daily Telegraph read, "Virat Kohli had to shake hands and move on after series win but he acted like a child".
"Knowing Virat he would have never done that and these people, look if you want to be in the headline you can say anything you want and it's just about making a headline or trying to get your name in the press by making such statements".
We aspire to be number one in all formats, so while the team's efforts in India, and across the summer following the disappointment of the first two Tests against South Africa, represent a significant improvement, we all know that we must continue to learn and develop our skills.
"They were light-hearted comments with the utmost respect to the Indian Premier League which I have throughly enjoyed through these years".
"Again, I am deeply apologetic to the country which has bough me so much joy", Hodge added. However, Brad Hodge issued a public apology after knowing fully well that his riches from the IPL could be severely affected for maligning India's most popular cricket icon. "It takes courage to speak about someone when they are on top".