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Virat Kohli thrives under extra scrutiny and pressure: Mitchell Johnson

Mitchell Johnson
Mitchell Johnson. (Photo Source: BCCI)

Mitchell Johnson, former Australian speedster, has been in the news regularly despite having retired from the game, the reason being his twitter activity. Johnson came under a lot of scrutiny because of his tweets about Virat Kohli. He had openly had a go at Virat Kohli ahead of the virtual knockout game between India and Australia for a place in the semifinals of the mega event.

He had a go at Kohli by bringing up how he failed during the 2015 World Cup semifinal encounter between the two arch rivals ‘when it really mattered’. But, Virat Kohli, on the following day, cracked a match-defining knock to help India win the match and knock out the Aussies. In his recent column for FoxSports, Johnson admitted that the dig at Kohli backfired as the Indian vice-captain went on to score 82 off 51 balls to knock Australia out.

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“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,” the 34-year-old pacer wrote.

Mitchell Johnson, who has pummeled oppositions with his fearsome bowling, has had a very interesting history with Virat Kohli stretching back to India’s tour of Australia in 2014.

“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.

He also acknowledged how both of cricketers are similar in their own way.

“The fact he plays the game like us [Australian] is probably why we’ve rubbed each other the wrong way. If I sit back and digest it properly, we’re actually quite similar in the way we approach the game. He’s a fiery character and he pushes the boundaries, just like I’ve always tried to do. Maybe that’s why we’ve clashed so often.”

Johnson, who plays for Kings XI Punjab in the Indian Premier League, says he was looking forward to his battles with Kohli and his team-mates in the upcoming edition. He retired from the game in November 2015 and hasn’t played much cricket apart from a grade match in Perth. But the KXIP spearhead feels he would be more focused this season.

“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 signed off.

Spectator involvement during IPL to increase. Read how?: Spectators to be given placards for IPL 9

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