Australia v India Tests
Lyon offers his view on Kohli
Australia off-spinner says he'd happily shake hands with India skipper following heated Test series
AAP & Cricket Network
14 April 2017, 12:51 PM AEST
Australia off-spinner Nathan Lyon has insisted his heated on-field relationship with Virat Kohli ends at the boundary rope.
Lyon was one of a host of Australians to become embroiled in drama surrounding India skipper Kohli during the recently-concluded Border-Gavaskar Test series.
The spinner suggested during the second Test that Kohli was "the head of the snake" – a reference to a line from South Africa quick Dale Steyn five months earlier when discussing Australia pair Steve Smith and David Warner.
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Kohli took exception to the comment, making a point of referring to it in the post-match press conference after India had secured a series-levelling victory.
"It’s not about one individual here – if they keep focusing on the head of the snake then the snake can sting from a lot of directions," he said.
"I think some people need to keep that in mind."
Lyon, who took 19 wickets for the series including a career-best 8-50 in Bengaluru, said he'd be happy to chat with Kohli and even buy him a glass of lemonade off the field.
"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 said.
"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."
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Lyon, Australia's most prolific finger spinner, described Kohli as a "world-class player", adding he is known for getting "quite emotional".
"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 (laughs)."
Kohli said following the fourth Test in Dharamsala that previous friendships with Australian players had been permanently damaged through what was a volatile series.
"I thought that was the case, but it has changed for sure," he said of healthy relations between he and the Australians, with whom he'd described pre-series as being "really good friends".
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"As I said, in the heat of the battle you want to be competitive but I've been proven wrong.
"The thing I said before the first Test, that has certainly changed and you won't hear me say that ever again."
The fiery right-hander then moved to clarify those comments days later, suggesting they were only aimed at "only a couple of individuals".
Kohli is set to play his first Indian Premier League match of the season for Royal Challengers Bangalore tonight, while he'll again square off with rival Australia captain Steve Smith on Sunday evening when his team takes on Rising Pune Supergiant.