'IPL has changed the India-Australia cricketing relations' - Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli talked about his on-field duel with the Australians on their ongoing India trip and attributed the lack of verbal altercations and nastiness for each other to the emergence and establishment of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Speaking to his former Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) teammate and great friend AB de Villiers in a Youtube live session for 'The 360 show', Kohli said the IPL has "changed" the attitude of players on the field and there is no anger for each other, which has paved way for "respect" and "mutual admiration".
The great Indian batter was responding to an interesting query from De Villiers ahead of the ODI series decider between the two countries in Chennai on Wednesday (March 22). De Villiers initially joked how nasty it has been to play this series and who, in Virat Kohli's eyes, is the nastiest Aussie cricketer, before he personally recognised "the most competitive players are the nastiest".
Kohli then cited the rise of the IPL to reflect upon the India-Australia relations and the sense of friendliness that has come about. Even though the cricket is as fierce as ever, the two teams are no longer seen indulging in verbal altercations or ugly exchanges that can often take the spotlight away from the actual on-field play.
Virat Kohli on India-Australia cricketing relations
"The IPL has changed quite a few things," Kohli told De Villiers in context of the India-Australia on and off-field cricketing relationship. "The cricket is as competitive but the verbals and sledging bit is not nasty anymore. It's become a game of lot of respect and mutual admiration."
"Still, you can very well say that there is the same hunger to win when they see us take the field and you play against them. When they find that they've taken a foot into the door, they have made sure they have barged in with the whole group and take over."
"So they are still looking for opportunities and they are as intense while playing. But the stuff which was too intense and the tension between teams has significantly gone down. That is what I've experienced this year. But not in competitiveness, I don't feel there is any complacency," Kohli added.
The Indian player believes this is a balanced scenario that reflects that the players have been grown in stature and matured in their respective careers. The batting great expects no edge given on a platter come the World Cup later this year, but said, it's good to see the development of "camaraderie" between Indian and Australian players.