ADELAIDE: Given the manner in which Indian batsmen have struggled on this tour, Virat Kohli's maiden Test hundred is feat that is similar to scaling Mount Everest without oxygen.
The 23-year-old felt it was even more challenging because it came under pressure and a sledging row involving Australian pacer Ben Hilfenhaus.
Kohli found himself in the midst of yet another controversy that had its genesis in the 90th over of the Indian innings bowled by Peter Siddle.
Needing just one run to bring up his century, Kohli almost ran himself out on the last ball, prompting Hilfenhaus to give him a mouthful. Kohli later blamed the Australian for it. "Hilfenhaus said something to me which was totally unnecessary ...out of the blue," Kohli said.
"He wasn't even bowling nor doing anything. I survived that run out (on 99) and he just said something which I can't obviously say in a press conference. I gave it back to him. Later Ishant (Sharma) and I both came together and started saying stuff to them and they got really upset with that." Kohli said he believes in playing cricket the hard way and will not take abuse from anyone.
"To give it back verbally and then score a hundred is even better," he said. "We don't go out there to take any kind of stuff from anyone. We are international cricketers as well. They should know that. We need to let them know that. Be it in any way - talking or performing - it's much more satisfying."
The rising star praised Ricky Ponting for his efforts to clam things down, but felt the Aussies at times go over the top with their 'verbals'. "They sledge when they get frustrated. Obviously it was hot out there, and constantly they were sledging the players so they could spoil our concentration. During that partnership they went really, really low."
Kohli, who was fined by the ICC for reacting indecently to drunken fans' taunts at the SCG, said it was not fair to punish the player alone.
"It is really, really frustrating at times because they say stuff which shouldn't be said on a cricket field," Kohli said. "We go out there to play, not to get abused like that. If they've come here to enjoy the game of cricket they should do that, not get drunk and abuse players."
Asked whether taunts from the Adelaide crowd add to the sweetness of his achievement, Kohli said: "To give it back verbally and to score a hundred is even better. The abuse hasn't changed much but the reasons have."
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