The duo of Steve Smith and Virat Kohli have had plenty of battles on the field of play, and on the eve of the first Test in Adelaide they sat down for a conversation.
The two master batsmen spoke about a variety of topics ranging from their early memories to the India vs Australia clash at The Oval in the 2019 World Cup.
Midway through, the conversation moved from memories to aspects like batting and being in the ‘zone’ that place where movements become automatic, gaps are hit and one feels close to invincible. Kohli was of course referring to the 2016 T20 World Cup quarter-final against Australia where he smashed 82 to take India to the semis.
"I went into a trance mode," Kohli said.
"You feel like things are looking difficult and you just think about committing to what the team needs.
"I still don't know how it happened, it was like everything I was hitting was going into gaps. I went into a zone that not even I could break down after.
"I felt that was so special because it's getting into that space while you're batting where you're under pressure and everything is coming off.”
Kohli and Smith spoke about the 2014 series, when both of them captained against each other and Australia won the series 2-0.
The Indian captain said the tour of 2014 brought back fond memories despite the loss. Having arrived in Australia after a torrid tour of England, Kohli had visualised how it was all going to pan out. And it did, but not after a shocking start.
"It's funny because I visualised for two months and then we prepared so much to play the first Test and then I walk in four balls before lunch and Mitchell Johnson hit me first ball in the head," Kohli said.
"I just stood there thinking, 'I've prepared for two-and-a-half months, and the first ball hits me on the head. What the hell is going on?'
"But then you either go fight or flight. I was pissed off with myself that I prepared for so long how can I not even get bat on ball and get out of the way."
Speaking about asking the fans to not boo Smith at the World Cup, Kohli said that he felt targeting an individual personally wasn’t fair which is why he reacted in that manner. "I feel like in life nothing can be that permanent that you carry it on for life," said Kohli.
"People make mistakes and they learn from it and I felt like it's not fair to target an individual personally, that's what I felt at that moment.
"Instinctively I told them not to boo you because you were fielding there (on the boundary) for quite a bit.
"As much as you play against each other there's a human side to things as well and at the end of the day we're here chatting now, we do have a chat a few times during the IPL as well.
"Yes, you're competitive on the field but you don't want to go nasty as such.
"Long term you do realise the importance of things from a larger perspective and I felt that wasn't right to do that at that moment."
Smith thanked Kohli again and explained how he sent him a message after the game for the kind gesture.
The duo will play each other once again in Adelaide after which the Indian skipper will return home on paternity leave. "It's a decision that was absolutely clear in my mind," said Kohli.
"As committed as you are to play for your country this is a very, very special moment in life that you want to be there for at any cost. It's a blessed time and we're very excited."