Former Australia captain Michael Clarke feels that India captain Virat Kohli is often misunderstood and has a lot of fans in Australia. Kohli has often been involved in heated arguments on the field with Australian players and the Aussie media has written a lot of negative stories on Kohli as a result.
“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, according to Cricbuzz. “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. 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.
“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 relation with him and I think he is respectful,” he added.
Talking about the pay dispute, Clarke said that he is happy that the entire episode is over and the players can now focus on cricket. “It is fantastic that the deal has been done and everybody can focus on cricket. Australia will be travelling to Bangladesh very soon and then we come to India and then the Ashes, so it is wonderful that the game can now move forward. The players can focus on what they do the best – playing – and the administrators can do their job too. I think everybody is sick and tired of talking about it and very happy that it’s over,” he said.
When asked about which party in the pay dispute was right, Clarke said, “I don’t need to take sides. There have been compromises from both the parties, but now I am glad the focus is back on cricket.”
Talking about conflict of interest, the BCCI commentary Panel were recently asked to sign an undertaking stating that they do not have any conflict of interest. Talking about the subject, Clarke said, “I have no idea if that is the case (that there can be conflict while commentating). To me, commentary is all about trying to take the viewers as close to the players as possible.”
“When the batsman is batting, the viewer should feel like he is sitting beside the batsman and know what he is thinking or what the captain is thinking that time. That’s what I have always seen in the commentary and that’s what I try to do. Your job is to have your opinion and make a call on what you see, so for me, there will be no conflict.”
Clarke has played 115 Tests, 245 ODIs and 34 T20Is for Australia in his 12-year international career for Australia.