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Virat Kohli (Photo: Twitter)
India’s ace cricketer playing alongside Australians in the 10th edition of the IPL will be interesting.
After defeating the Australians 2-1 to clinch the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, Virat Kohli made a comment in the post-match conference in Dharamsala that was enough to shake up the whole cricket fraternity.
The Indian skipper said that he does not consider Australian cricketers as his friends anymore.
When an Australian journalist asked Kohli if he still consider Aussie cricketers as his friends off the field as he had said at the start of the series? Kohli 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.”
Following the comment, Australian cricketers like Brad Hodge, Steve Smith and Shane Warne came up dramatically with varied but influential response.
Smith wasn’t sure if Kohli was hinting at him or other Aussies, while former cricketer Hodge expressed apologies for one of his previous comments on Indian captain.
Amid all this, interesting would be watching India’s ace cricketer playing alongside Australians in the tenth edition of the Indian Premier League, starting April 5.
RCB, the 2016 IPL runner-ups, have three Australians in the squad – Shane Watson, Travis Head, and Billy Stanlake.
All-rounder Watson is among the top-bets featuring in the cash-rich league and hence would be a regular inclusion in the playing eleven.
Travis Head may miss out from a lot of matches, like last year, as RCB’s top-order is well-strengthened with the presence of KL Rahul, AB de Villiers, Chris Gayle and captain Kohli himself.
Aussie fast bowler Stanlake, who won a surprise call-up for Australian national side in January, would be an interesting chap to watch out for. However, the 22-year-old has to make his space in RCB amid England’s Tymal Mills, New Zealand’s Adam Milne, and Tabraiz Shamsi of South Africa.
With star campaigners like Gayle, Watson and de Villiers expected to feature in every single match, aforementioned bowlers will have to fight for a single slot.
Although Kohli is expected to miss early IPL matches due to shoulder injury and de Villiers may lead the side in his absence, Indian skipper’s “no-longer-friends” remark will be the hot-talk throughout the IPL 2017 season.
As many as 21 cricketers will be featuring in this year’s IPL, with Kohli’s biggest rival Steve Smith leading Rising Pune Supergiants (RPS).
Complete Squad: Virat Kohli (C), Sreenath Aravind, Avesh Khan, Samuel Badree, Stuart Binny, Yuzvendra Chahal, Aniket Choudhary, AB de Villiers, Praveen Dubey, Chris Gayle, Travis Head, Iqbal Abdulla, Kedar Jadhav, Sarfaraz Khan, Mandeep Singh, Tymal Mills, Adam Milne, Pawan Negi, Harshal Patel, Lokesh Rahul, Sachin Baby, Tabraiz Shamsi, Billy Stanlake, Shane Watson
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