With 24 hours to go for the awaited Ranchi Test, both teams are trying to address the last-minute loopholes. Virat Kohli and team India have arrived in Ranchi and the captain has just addressed a press conference in which he spoke about the DRS controversy, Steven Smith, his role, the game plan and much more.
Talking about the Ranchi Test he said, “Whatever has happened at Bengaluru should be forgotten as the Ranchi Test is here. There is a lot of cricket to be played and it should not happen in bad taste. Both teams have moved ahead from Bengaluru.”
On the question of the battle between Virat Kohli and Steven Smith, he added, “We do not focus too much on the Opposition.” He also spoke about Ashwin’s gestures. Virat said it was not meant to be a reaction for Nathan Lyon’s eight-for.
About Ashwin, he said, “He is a world-class bowler but he is not targeting any batsman in particular.”
— cricket.com.au (@CricketAus) March 15, 2017
He was also pretty vocal about the batting collapses that India succumbed to in Pune and partly, in the Bengaluru Test. “Australia batted really well on those pitches, so I will not squarely blame the pitch,” he emphasised. “Even on a flat wicket if you are under pressure you tend to have batting collapses. Test cricket hence is more mental than skills. Teams who are mentally strong will do well on that wicket, Pujara proved it. Rahane too showed mental strength to counter the conditions.”
— BCCI (@BCCI) March 15, 2017
About sledging, he said, “I do not start a series saying focus on me. I cannot control the media but yes I can do that on the field. If people choose to write about me that is their choice. Praise or criticism does not bother me.”
He also spoke about ICC and BCCI’s role and further added, “We do not have one issue to think about all the time. We have two Test matches to play and we are focusing on that. I think it was a matured decision on everyone’s part to move forward and think ahead after that incident. We have seen instances in the past that have stretched too long and no party has benefited by that and there is no outcome. It is good to move on.”