Mumbai: Team India skipper Virat Kohli has the ‘Kangaroo’ spirit inside him, making him quite popular Down Under, believes former Australia captain Michael Clarke.
Kohli had wound-up in a number of controversies during the Baggy Green’s four-match Test series in India, which the hosts won 2-1. The Delhi batsman had even implied in one of the post-match press conferences that the Australians had ‘cheated’, while tactfully refraining from uttering the aforementioned word.
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However, Clarke brushed aside questions about Kohli’s popularity, or the lack thereof, in Australia. “I disagree that Virat doesn’t have too many fans in Australia. I think Virat has a lot of Australian spirit in him,” said Clarke. He further went on to explain that just like most Australian players, Kohli also likes to play hard, but leaves behind all the on-field competitiveness, once the game ends.
“To be honest, he plays the game really tough and is really competitive on the field, but he is a nice guy off the field. So when people get to know Virat, they realize that what they see on the field is just his competitive spirit,” Clarke said. “I can’t think of any Australian cricketer who wasn’t like that every time we walked out on the field. I certainly think there is respect for Virat in Australia.”
However, Kohli had received a lot of criticism from the Australian media during the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, earlier in 2017. Certain sections of the Aussie media had even drawn parallels between Kohli and US President Donald Trump.
“You probably are not going to read the positive stuff (about Virat) in the Australian media, though. They all want to write a negative story. But I have a great relationship with him and I think he is respectful,” he said.