Cricket World Cup 2019: Virat Kohli responds to Kagiso Rabada’s comments on his immaturity
Virat Kohli speaks to reporters at The Ageas bowl ahead of India's first match. © AFP

SOUTHAMPTON: India skipper Virat Kohli has replied to Kagiso Rabada‘s recent comments about him being “immature” by stating that he has not heard or read the South African fast bowler’s statements, and that if the two had to have an exchange it should be done “man to man”.

In a recent interview, Rabada said that Kohli loves to give it to the bowler but cannot take it when an opponent decides to give it back to him.

Asked about Rabada’s statements on the eve of India’s ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 opener at Southampton’s Ageas Bowl, Kohli refused to get drawn into the war of words and said that he would prefer to sort out all issues between them.

“What did he say?” Kohli asked the South African reporter who posed the question.

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After hearing the man’s reply, Kohli said: “I am not going to use the press conference to talk against Rabada. If there is anything for me and Rabada to discuss, we can do that man to man. He is always a skilful bowler, he has the potential to run through the opposition, so we need to look to play him accordingly.”

A few minutes earlier, South Africa captain Faf du Plessis was asked to comment on Rabada’s views on Kohli.

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“I don’t know the context, I can’t comment on what Rabada said about Kohli in IPL,” he replied.

In the interview, Rabada had said: “I was just thinking about the game plan, really, but Virat, he hit me for a boundary and then he had a word. And then when you give it back to him, he gets angry. I don’t get the guy. Maybe he does it because it gets him going, but that comes across as very immature for me. He is a phenomenal player but he can’t take the abuse.”

India play South Africa in match eight of the World Cup on Wednesday.