As the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai gears up to create history — to host the first ODI — on Sunday, skippers Virat Kohli and Steve Smith look to resume rivalry from the point where they left in March, when India defeated Australia to clinch the Border Gavaskar Trophy.
Following the routing of Australian side 2-1, Kohli ended the series on a bitter note as he made a controversial statement. The Indian skipper said that he does not consider Australian cricketers as his friends anymore.
During a press conference, when an Australian journalist asked Kohli if he still considers Aussie cricketers his friends off the field as he had said at the start of the series? He replied: “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.”
A lot has happened since then. The two cricketers faced each other in the Indian Premier League (IPL) season 10 and played a lot of cricket across the globe. However, it will be exciting to see them lock horns again on Indian soil during the five-match ODI and three-match T20I series.
Kohli has always been confident while facing the Aussies, irrespective of the format he plays. Having played 47 international matches against Australia, the 28-year-old batsman has scored 2,725 runs with as many as 11 centuries.
Australian skipper too has been dauntless against India as he has made 1920 runs against the men-in-blue in just 22 international matches. Facing India, Smith has scored emphatic knocks of 149 and 192 runs in ODIs and Tests respectively.
Meanwhile, former Australia captain Michael Clarke on Tuesday put his bet on the Indian skipper, calling Kohli a better batsman than Smith in the T20I and ODI formats.