Speaking to media during a promotional event in Pune, Clarke said that contrary to the beliefs, Kohli has a huge fan base in Australia and majority of the fans respect him as a cricketer.
"I disagree that Virat doesn’t have too many fans in Australia. I think Virat has a lot of Australian spirit in him. To be honest, he plays the game really tough and is really competitive on the field, but he is a nice guy off the field," said Clarke.
"So when people get to know Virat, they realize that what they see on the field is just his competitive spirit. I can’t think of any Australian cricketer who wasn’t like that every time we walked out on the field. I certainly think there is respect for Virat in Australia," he added.
However, during the last Test series between the two nations in the subcontinent, tension reached its optimum following the infamous brain freeze incident during the Bengaluru Test. Afterwards, Kohli went onto say that he isn't friends with Australian players anymore and that made him an automatic target of the Aussie media.
But Clarke went onto say that the media always focuses on the wrong stuff and they would never write good thing about the charismatic Indian skipper.
"You probably are not going to read the positive stuff (about Virat) in the Australian media though. They all want to write a negative story. But I have a great relationship with him and I think he is respectful," said Clarke.
First Published: August 17, 2017, 3:57 PM IST