New Delhi: Ever since Virat Kohli began handling the media as a stand-in skipper to MS Dhoni, his frank and forthright views have been a joy to hear.
Unlike MS Dhoni or other Indian players, Kohli speaks his mind off instead of coming up with the standard answers and cliches.
On Sunday, after playing a superlative knock of 169 runs, the star batsman was once again in his elements at the post match press conference.
"I was really annoyed with him (Mitchell Johnson) 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 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."
Former England captain who led England to a famous Ashes win in 2005 too praised Kohli's candour at press conferences.
— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) December 28, 2014
Apart from his positive approach on the pitch, Kohli's interaction with the media has given pundits and fans an insight into the way he thinks and approaches cricket.
More importantly, he has sent a firm message to the Aussie camp that he is willing to chase a 300-plus total on the final day of a Test match and that has planted a seed of doubt not just in the mind of the Australians but also other cricket captains watching these events unfold in Australia.
Kohli did not hold back and told the press exactly what he thought of Johnson and co. He didn't say what they wanted to hear or what cricketers usually say in such situations.
The Aussies are known to play 'tough' cricket, which means they like toying with the mindset of the opposition and are usually successful in unsettling them.
Apart from not being affected by such techniques, Kohli uses the it as fuel to rake up runs and then rub it in. He is a very different beast to what the Aussies are accustomed to.
With his strong press conference on Sunday, Virat Kohli conveyed he will not back down. If his team do end up losing, they will go down all guns blazing with Kohli leading from the front.
With agency inputs