After the 75-run win over Australia, Virat Kohli came out for his press conference all guns blazing to answer the people who had criticized him this week. He singled out Ian Healy and Nathan Lyon for their quotes during the match that Australia dominated over long periods but eventually lost.
Healy had criticized the Indian captain's behavior on the field and his antics towards Australian captain Steve Smith. Kohli was also lambasted for his reaction to being given out in a controversial decision in the second innings of the Bengaluru Test.
“I’m losing respect for him. He’s not only now continuing his disrespect of the Australian players and umpires, but I think he’s putting pressure on his own players. The stuff he did with Steve Smith was unacceptable.
Kohli, however, did not seem amused by the Aussie's statement and brought up Healy's own similar incident from 1997 when he was wrongly given out against South Africa.
"[I’ll lose respect] in his eyes? We’ve got 1.2 billion people in India. One person doesn’t make a difference to my life. And also I think you should go and search on YouTube, when he was given out in Centurion, down the leg side. I heard he said something about me not having good
However, Healy wasn't the only critic that Kohli was gunning for as Nathan Lyon bore the brunt of the Indian captain's rage. India had found themselves in a difficult situation after failing to bat for even three full sessions on the first day. It was Lyon who was the star of the show claiming eight wickets including that of Kohli to bundle the hosts out for just 189.
“Virat is a world class batter so we expect him to bounce back. But he is the head of the snake, to put it in Dale Steyn’s terms, and if you can take that, the body will fall away. It was pretty pleasing to take Virat’s wicket,” Lyon had said after Day 1.
However, things did not pan out the way Lyon had claimed. Although Australia managed to take out Kohli cheaply in the second innings as well, Cheteshwar Pujara led the fightback along with Ajinkya Rahane to post a challenging total on a difficult track for the visitors.
Taunting Lyon over the remark, Kohli said, "The snake didn’t fall off eventually. There are many important players in the team and they took the responsibility. Today the boys showed their heart and character along with the crowd. A couple of sessions in Test cricket are game changing."
With more than a week to go for the next match, things sure are expected to heat up with the verbal volleys between the Indian team and the Aussies. Throw in the Steve Smith DRS-gate incident, and we appear to be in for a full-blown war by the time the caravan moves on to Ranchi.