Nathan Lyon, the Australian offspinner, said on Friday (April 14) that he wouldn’t mind sharing a drink with Virat Kohli off the field, and any issues they had during a heated Test series were left behind at the boundary rope.
India won the four-Test series 2-1, with plenty of acrimony on and off the field, with the flashpoint being reached when Steven Smith looked towards the dressing room for help with a DRS review during the second Test in Bangalore. Smith called it a ‘brainfade’ while Kohli was more stringent in his criticism of the act, stopping just short of calling it cheating.
During that same Test, Lyon had referred to Kohli as the ‘head of the snake’ after taking a Test-best 8 for 50 in the first innings, referencing a line that Dale Steyn had used before the South Africa-Australia Test series Down Under in late 2016. Kohli also responded to Lyon’s comments in his post-match press conference in Bangalore, where India levelled the series with a 75-run win.
At the end of the series, Kohli said that he didn’t consider several of the Australian players to be his ‘friends’ any more, though he later clarified that his comments were directed only at one or two players.
“I am the type of guy who will play hard on the field and compete very hard but I am more than happy to talk to anyone off the field,” Lyon told cricket.com.au. “I am more than happy to shake his hand and say hello to him, that is for sure. There is no harm in being nice.”
Lyon, however, joked that he wasn’t expecting a Christmas card from Kohli. “He gets a crowd up behind him over in India, but that is who he is,” he said. “I don’t think Virat will give me a Christmas card though.”
Kohli didn’t play in the final Test in Dharamsala, laid low by a shoulder injury suffered in the third Test in Ranchi. That injury kept him out of the first week of the Indian Premier League 2017, but on Thursday, Kohli was declared fit and available to play, and will lead Royal Challengers Bangalore against Mumbai Indians at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore in Friday’s match.