Melbourne: After scoring his third Test hundred of the tour, Virat Kohli Sunday said he was left with no good reason to respect pacer Mitchell Johnson and some of the other Australia players after verbals flew "throughout the day" at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).
The squabbling reached its peak when Johnson fielded in his follow-through and threw back at the striker's stumps. There was a genuine case for Johnson trying to run Kohli out and the throw was headed for the stumps when it hit Kohli, who was trying to get back into his crease, reports espncricinfo.com.
"I was really annoyed with him hitting me with the ball, and I told him that's not on. 'Try and hit the stumps next time, not my body'," Kohli said.
"You have got to send the right message across. I am not there to take to some unnecessary words or chats from someone. I am going there to play cricket, back myself. There's no good reason that I should respect unnecessarily some people when they are not respecting me."
Kohli said this attitude from Australia helped him play better, which he said might be one of the reasons why five of his nine hundreds have come against them.
"It was going on throughout the day, They were calling me a spoilt brat, and I said, 'Maybe that's the way I am. You guys hate me, and I like that.' I don't mind having a chat on the field, and it worked in my favour I guess," the Indian vice-captain said.
"I like playing against Australia because it is very hard for them to stay calm, and I don't mind an argument on the field, and it really excites me and brings the best out of me. So, they don't seem to be learning the lesson."
According to Kohli, Australia have been saying things about India's habit of crumbling under pressure only because they are up in the series.
"They have the right to talk, I guess. They are two-nil up right now. Would have been interesting if it had been 1-1. When you are on top you can say anything you want. It's when the chips are down that you have got to stand up. Say what you have to say and then go out there and prove it," Kohli said.
"When we played in India, there weren't so many words coming back from them. We are two-nil down, we still took them on today and showed what we can do with the bat, which is the character of this Indian team."
Kohli said he still had respect for some of the Australian players but Johnson wasn't one of them.
"I respect quite a few of them, but someone who doesn't respect me I have no reason to respect him. I am out here to play cricket, not to hear anyone's respect," Kohli said.
"I have got a nice friendship with a few of them. But someone who is not backing off, someone who is saying anything that comes to mouth, I have no reason to respect him."