Cricket may be the “Gentleman’s game”, but it doesn’t stop players from playing mind games and trying to get into the opposition’s heads to get a competitive advantage. Former England batsman Nick Compton revealed how, during England’s tour of India in 2012, they had sledged India captain Virat Kohli throughout the series after he had confronted Compton for chatting with his ex-girlfriend. Compton said that he had met her during a night out before the series and talked to her, and Kohli, who was not captain at the time, was not best pleased about it, and would have “a few words” with him when he would walk out to bat. But that didn’t work out in Kohli’s favour, as the England players used it to try and wind him up instead.
“I specially got a few words from Virat Kohli during the series. I think I bumped into his ex-girlfried at the time before the series. It was an evening with Kevin Pietersen, myself, Yuvraj Singh. All of us were there and she was there,” the former England opener said on the “Edges and Sledges” podcast.
“And I just chatted to her. And I think the word got back that I was speaking to her and I don’t think Virat Kohli was very happy with that. I think he had a few words to say to me every time I walked out to bat,” he said.
“I think he was trying to say that it was his girlfriend, and she was saying that it was her ex-boyfriend, so it was like, who’s got the story right here?”
“It was quite funny at the time, I think the players, especially in the England camp, caught hold of it. So we used it as a way to keep winding him up and try to get into his head, but you know, he’s a world-class performer and he came back to score a good hundred in the last match and obviously his career has gone from strength to strength,” Compton said.
“But it was quite a funny joke that we had throughout the series and something that I always smile about. But it was all in good faith,” he added.
England went on to win the series 2-1, thanks to inspired performances from Alastair Cook – who scored three centuries in the four matches – and Kevin Pietersen.
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