Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli has always had a tricky relationship with Australian players. The Test series against Australia earlier this year was marked by many controversies which forced the Indian skipper to come out and say in a press conference that he has no friends in the Aussie team. However, former Australian captain Michael Clarke tampered that statement and said that he has always been a good friend of Virat Kohli. Clarke added that there is a lot of Australian spirit in Virat Kohli which makes him really competitive on the field, according to a report by India Today.
“I disagree that Virat doesn’t have too many fans in Australia. I think Virat has a lot of Australian spirit in him. 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,” Clarke, who is in India to promote Tourism Australia, said at an event in Pune. Kohli recently led the Indian cricket team to its first overseas whitewash. Men in Blue defeated Sri Lanka in the third Test by an innings and 171 runs at Pallekele to seal the series 3-0. This was also Kohli’s eighth consecutive Test series win since taking over the captaincy of the Indian cricket team from Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
Earlier this year when Virat Kohli was asked by a reporter if he still considered Steve Smith’s men his friends off the field, the Indian captain had replied by saying, “No, it has changed for sure. I thought that was the case but it has changed for sure. As I said in the heat of the battle, you want to be competitive but yeah I have been proven wrong. The thing I said before the first Test, I have certainly been proven wrong and you won’t hear me say that ever again.”
India will now take on Sri Lanka in a five match ODI series which begins on August 20 at Dambulla. The ODI series will be followed by a single T20I which will be played on September 6. Here are the squads for the shorter formats of the game:
Sri Lanka squad: Upul Tharanga (captain), Angelo Mathews, Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Dhanushka Gunathilaka, Kusal Mendis, Chamara Kapugedera, Milinda Siriwardana, Malinda Pushpakumara, Akila Dananjaya, Lakshan Sandakan, Thisara Perera, Wanindu Hasaranga, Lasith Malinga, Dushmantha Chameera, Vishwa Fernando.
India squad: Virat Kohli (captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma (vc), K.L. Rahul, Manish Pandey, Ajinkya Rahane, Kedar Jadhav, M.S. Dhoni (wk), Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Shardul Thakur.