Virat Kohli says Indian fans taunting Australian star Steve Smith at last year's World Cup in England "wasn't right" and that's why he famously pleaded with them to stop.
The gesture during a pool game earned him plenty of admirers as Smith and David Warner suffered abuse from crowds all over Britain in their comeback tournament after serving bans for ball-tampering.
"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," said Kohli in a candid conversation with Smith, released Thursday ahead of the opening Test in Adelaide.
"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 and revealed he sent him a text message after the game about the "top class" gesture, but also said the crowd response only fired him up.
- Motivation -
"There was a lot of negative stuff towards me when I first came back and I like to prove people wrong," he said.
"So it's kind of like 'You guys are booing me, screw you. I'm going to try and do whatever I can to either keep you quiet or make you come at me even more'."
The chat between the world's top two Test batsmen was organised by Cricket Australia, with both men asking each other questions covering their junior days and favourite innings.
Kohli said his father's death when he was 18 proved a key driver in making him who he is today.
"It was tough but it somehow put things into perspective," he said.
"I just became single-minded from then on, focused to play for a long time, I didn't think I was going to get dropped from the team. It was pure motivation and the will to move forward."
While Kohli was always a batter, Smith began his Test career as a spinner.
"It was 2012 when I got dropped," Smith said.
"I played two Tests as a spinner, three as an allrounder, I was batting at six and I got dropped so I thought 'What was the best way to get back into Australian side and have a successful career?'
"So I thought 'Right, it's time to let go of spin'. I had so many people saying 'Don't do it, you need to keep focusing on different parts of your game.'
"I was like, 'This is my decision and I want to be the best batsman I can be'."