The rivalry shared between Virat Kohli and Mitchell Johnson has an interesting story of its own. During India’s tour of Australia in 2014/15, Kohli had the upper hand over Johnson and the Indian run machine simply dominated the Australian quick in the three tests they featured in together. However, in the all-important semi-final of the ICC World Cup 2015, Johnson got the better of Kohli and dismissed him cheaply, leading to India’s ultimate defeat.
Johnson, who bid adieu to international cricket after the Perth test against New Zealand, is geared up to represent his IPL franchise, the Kings XI Punjab. Johnson wrote a column on his IPL stint and reflected on his duel with the flamboyant Virat Kohli. The two had an ugly altercation during India’s previous tour of Australia, when Johnson hurled the ball back towards the batsman, which hit Kohli, leading to a heated exchange.
“We’ve had our differences and most of it stems from the 2014 Adelaide Test, when a ball I threw hit Virat on the body. I was legitimately trying to run him out but he didn’t like what I did. When he made some comment in the media that night about having no respect for me as a player, that’s when I got really annoyed,” wrote Johnson in his column.
Johnson, though, was quick to praise Kohli for his ability to thrive under pressure. “One man who definitely thrives on the extra scrutiny and pressure is Virat Kohli. The man is a superstar and he showed why during the World Twenty20, when he almost single-handedly dragged India into the semifinal,” Johnson added.
The former Australian pacer also mentioned that he was motivated by playing in the IPL. “The good sign for me is I’m incredibly excited for the IPL to get underway now. That’s certainly not how I was feeling this time last year when I was really flat and physically exhausted after a long summer that included a World Cup.” “A lot of people think the IPL is all about money but I can guarantee you it isn’t. I would find it really hard to be motivated if I was just playing for money – you have to actually have your heart in it. I know I do, and I can’t wait to pull on that Kings XI uniform again,” he said.