Aussies sledge when they get frustrated: Kohli

Published: Thursday, January 26, 2012, 15:35 [IST]
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I give it back when they sledge: Kohli

Adelaide, Jan 26: Centurion Virat Kohli today lashed out at the Australian players for "constantly" indulging in sledging and the local fans Down Under for not treating the Indian cricketers with respect.

"They (players) sledge when they get frustrated. Obviously it was hot out there. Constantly they were sledging the players so that they could spoil their concentration.

"During that partnership (between him and Wriddhiman Saha) they were really, really having a go," said Kohli who slammed 116 in India's first innings total of 272 on day 3 of the fourth and final Test here.

There was one particular moment in the field when Kohli had a verbal duel with Ben Hilfenhaus in the middle after he had just survived a run-out.

"(Ben) Hilfenhaus said something to me which was quite unnecessary. It was out of the blue. He wasn't even bowling. I had just survived a run-out on 99. He said something to me which I can't say in press conference.

"I gave it back to him, (I said) you didn't have to do anything why would you do it," Kohli, who was the lone bright spot amid the ruins that resulted in India conceding a massive first-innings lead of 332, told reporters.

Kohli stood by what he did and did not regret his action. "Ishant and I both came together and started saying, got stuck to them and he got really upset. I usually play my cricket like that and I like to give it back. At the end of the day I was pretty happy with what I did."

It took an intervention from Ricky Ponting -- Kohli was seen being pulled away by the former Australian veteran in the middle -- that calmed the situation somewhat.

"He (Ponting) told me not to give it back or I would get in trouble. He was pretty much a help with that."

Kohli was caught showing his middle finger to the crowd during the second Test in Sydney, for which he was fined 50 per cent of his match fee.

"You have to give back verbally and then score a hundred, that's even better. We don't go out to take any kind of stuff from anyone. We are international cricketers as well. We have not come here to just participate. They should know that, and we need to let them know that, by talking and by performing.

"It's really frustrating at times. They say things which they shouldn't be saying on a cricket field. We go there to play and not to get abused like that. If they come to enjoy the game of cricket, they should do it, not get drunk and abuse players. It's not fair on the players.

"If a player says anything they are fined and banned and crowd could say anything and go home. It should be played in a fair way."

Kohli was on the verge of being dropped after the second Test and he admitted he wasn't in a very good mental space.

"I wasn't in good mental space, to be honest. Nobody did anything. I was putting pressure on myself.

"After Sydney, I went to Perth, and kept telling myself I have done well in one-day internationals. It's international cricket too. I kept telling myself this every day. I started believing once again in myself.

"You need to keep re-telling yourself. You need to keep believing in yourself."

Kohli said another thing he did was to completely blank out what was being said or written in the media about him.

"The thing was not watching TV, not seeing news, not reading newspapers. I haven't touched a newspaper in the last one month. I have maintained if I don't do well, I will be criticised. If I do well, I would be praised. I need to create a balance between the two.

"It's not that I have done well, I would now go to internet and start searching articles in appreciation. I would like to be in a (mental) space in which I am now. If I could stay neutral in praise and criticism, I would be in a better mental condition to go out and perform.

"I didn't pay attention to what was being said or written. People were writing me off after the first Test in Melbourne. What I could do was to control my performance."

Paying least attention to criticisms did turn things around for the batsman from Delhi.

"Someone playing because of me sitting out is not in my hands. By paying no attention to what is being written or said, I am giving myself the maximum chance.

"As it is, playing for India is a great pressure. The other pressure I neglected and stayed in my space. I didn't want to not perform because of those reasons and after the game I would be like, why did I put myself mentally under so much pressure.

"Rather, I should be in good space which I did and give myself best chance to perform."


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