Skippers continue to spar but bat for harmony



Virat Kohli stood by his comments about Australia’s abuse of the DRS while his Australian counterpart Steve Smith termed Indian captain’s claims “wrong” and “rubbish” even as both players batted for bringing the focus back on cricket.

“See, a lot has been given into the incident, I feel,” Kohli said when asked if he could, as claimed by him in Bengaluru, point out other instances of Aussies looking up to their dressing room for advice on DRS referrals. “It’s time we focus on the remainder of the series honestly because there is a lot of cricket to be played and it shouldn’t happen in bad taste.

What has happened in Bangalore has happened in Bangalore. We are in Ranchi and we should look forward to tomorrow. Both teams have moved ahead from Bangalore and I think the focus should get back on to the series because the priority here is cricket,” he reasoned.
Kohli, however, said he didn’t regret what he said.

“I think about what I say,” he stressed. “I don’t regret anything that I have said. But at the same time, it is very important not to be stupid and go on about the same thing on a daily basis because there is cricket to be played.

“There was a decent break in between and we certainly don’t want to sit and think about one issue all the time. We have cricket to play, we have two Test matches to play and that’s what we need to focus on,” he remarked.

While hailing the BCCI-Cricket Australia effort to restore normalcy, Kohli appeared a bit philosophical. “I think it was a mature decision on everyone’s part to move on from that. We have seen instances in the past stretch too long and it just causes disharmony and there is no outcome, honestly. You will always have two sides of the coin. One side will say one thing, the other side will say another and that just takes the focus away from the game that we all are sitting here because of.”

Smith, who addressed the media later in the day, may have a few questions to ask Kohli when the two meet on the morning of the match in the presence of match referee Richie Richardson.

“Perhaps I might be able to ask a few questions,” Smith said. “We will see what the mood is like at that time. Virat obviously stuck by his comments. From my point of view, they are completely wrong. Obviously, I came out after the game and said, ‘I made a mistake’. It was an error on my behalf, it was a brain fade. In regards to saying that we do it consistently, that’s complete rubbish in my opinion. I think he was wrong in his statement.”

Smith, though, was willing to give peace a chance. “Not from my point of view,” he said when queried if there was still some bitterness between the two teams. “It is about moving on and concentrating on this Test match. It has been a great series so far, cricket that has been played. Hopefully cricket can be the winner in this Test match. It is an exciting one, 1-1 in the series, half way through the series. We all are excited about this Test match and hopefully it will be a good one.”

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