Kohli brushes aside Smith jibe

Kohli brushes aside Smith jibe

Kohli brushes aside Smith jibe
Virat Kohli dismissed his counterpart Steve Smith’s claim that he would be under pressure playing Mitchell Starc, who accounted for the Indian skipper early in the first innings of the opening Test, before adding “we will see where the series ends in the fourth game.”

“Me? Does it look like (I’m under pressure)? I'm pretty relaxed, I'm happy, I'm smiling. It's fine. It's his view, whatever he wants to say,” countered Kohli when told about Smith's comments. “I don't think there is going to be any extra variation added to his bowling suddenly. He is the bowler he is. We've got to accept that and we've got to face him the best way possible that we can as batsmen. That's all we look at. We're not looking too much into it. I think it's time to focus on our skills rather than what Australia is saying or preparing like. I know these mindgames, and these press conferences are something they're very good at. We're still going to play the cricket that we played in the last two years and see where the series ends in the fourth game,” he warned.

Smith has been India’s biggest tormentor in recent times, having reeled off centuries in five consecutive Tests. Kohli, however, said the right-hander wasn’t the sole focus of his team.

“Our focus is not only him,” he stressed. “I think the whole team has to play well against Australia to win a Test match. That is something that we have identified,” he reasoned.

The Indian skipper didn’t sound too happy with the criticism his team has received since the Pune defeat but went on to add that his team wasn’t too bogged down by the negative talk just as they remain unmoved when they are praised. 
“I felt this sort of strange energy that some people were quite excited about the fact that they had something (negative) to write about the team after two years,” he said when asked if he was disappointed with the flak post the Pune defeat.

“The pitch came into contention and the players' mindset and skills and pressure and what not… Everything came into contention. It's fine, some people would have made more out of their jobs in those few days, I guess. Us as a team, we never got excited by praise and we don't focus on criticism either.

“What we focus on is what we think of each other as individuals in the change room and the respect that we maintain there. That's one reason that we ended up having that streak (19 unbeaten Tests), which we didn't expect honestly,” he elaborated.