India v Australia, 2nd Test, Bengaluru March 3, 2017

Not worried about Smith's 'mind games', says Kohli


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I know about Australia's mind games - Kohli

Steven Smith turned the heat on India on the eve of the second Test in Bengaluru, declaring Australia are just "one or two sessions" away from retaining the Border-Gavaskar trophy, while Virat Kohli dismissed Smith's words as "mind games."

After starting the series as underdogs and given little chance of drawing, let alone winning a match, Australia would take an unassailable lead in the four-Test series if they win at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, a ground where Australia has an encouraging record of two wins, two draws and just one loss.

"I think they will feel under a little bit of pressure," Smith said. "Obviously, going into this series, all I heard was 4-0 to them. So they're one down and need to come back. We're one win away from [retaining] the Border-Gavaskar trophy. Things can happen pretty quickly here.

"So we might be one or two sessions away from getting that back. I'm sure they'll feel under a bit of pressure."

But Kohli was quick to brush off the suggestion that India would be feeling under pressure when he learned of Smith's comments.

"Me? As a team? Does it look like [we're under pressure]?" Kohli said, smilingly. "I'm pretty relaxed. I'm happy. I'm smiling. It's fine, those are his views and [he can say] whatever he wants to say. I think it's time we focus on our skills more than what Australia is saying or preparing like. I know these minds games in these press conferences are something they're very good at.

"We're still going to play the cricket that we've played for the last two years and see where the series ends after the fourth game."

Kohli also refused to be drawn on the importance of stopping Smith, whose gritty knock at Pune defied the conditions and was his third century from his past seven Test innings, instead pointing to the fact that India gave Smith several lives during his second innings.

"The whole team has to play well against Australia to win a Test match, that's something we've identified," said Kohli. "We're not focusing on one player at all.

"If we don't hold onto our chances it doesn't matter, at the end of the day, how many runs we score. We're not focusing on one player only. The whole ten wickets have to be taken twice to win a Test match. The comments and headlines don't matter. They never have, and we won't base our cricket on it."

Melinda Farrell is a presenter with ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Peter on March 4, 2017, 18:31 GMT

    According to many, batting first in India generally wins thus we shall see. As for King Kohli's comments....."suffering succatash!!!!" LOL Fair pitches..duh...19 on the trot with spinners racking up wickets galore..add Pune and current match...India simply got caught at its own game so far. It is even tacitly agreed by the big four as long as it is not OTT. It is about keeping the shekels pouring from a 1.25 billion fan base and BCCI sharing the largesse. Winning tends to fill home coffers. Still anyone's game.

  • Peter on March 4, 2017, 18:09 GMT

    Based on performances so far, I would rather snowflakes having my back than a whole field of chilli warriors behind an eggshell king. If aus scores 300 or lower, it is uncertain. At 350 by stumps it is possible done deal if the turn gets harder. Aus really needs 200 plus lead to ram it home. Davey could get 100 if he is patient. This pitch is the real king.

  • Peter on March 4, 2017, 17:58 GMT

    @sarangsrk..... I'm confounded as how any batsman that averages higher than the Indian captain against India is deemed a #8 bat. By the same logic, Virat should be 9 or lower. Grow a neural pathway. It is okay to be a one eyed supporter. Just be logical. Virat is too good a player to be hampered by any opposition comments. It is more likely that he has been defanged by unhappy local supporters chanting for his blood. He will recover...after all, team India revolves around his resolve...he is a class act. 19 on the trot was a huge run. On the other hand, it will be interesting to see how this young Aus team develops thru the series. Lookin good so far.

  • Sam on March 4, 2017, 15:23 GMT

    Memorandum _____________

    To: Mr. Virat Kohli From: Heartbroken Indians Re: Quick Reminder _____________

    A cricket bat is not for decorative purposes. Kindly use your bat. Not your pads. Thank you.

  • Graham on March 4, 2017, 10:19 GMT

    SO stating the truth is now declared mind games - what a crazy world we live in.

  • Pupalan on March 4, 2017, 8:23 GMT

    No doubt Australia are showing they have superior training program - the Dubai trip has paid off. On current performance they are deserving. But I cant fail to conclude that clearly tax payer funded affirmative action works for sporting persons. With all the support and the others performing why is Usman not capable of this performance? I think time Usman was allowed to leave to find his own greener pastures. Obviously when they removed him from playing the one day series in NZ and left S Marsh to take his spot one would assume he could have learned something in Dubai to make the team, so the question marks are there. To prevent more Nic Maddinson's type situations - let him go - and so the rest of us can just focus on the cricket.

  • Paul on March 4, 2017, 7:25 GMT

    Kohli's mind is completely gone. Two dismissals not offering a shot?

  • Anoop on March 4, 2017, 6:15 GMT

    Will be interesting to see how Aus responds if Smith fails on this match. When Kohli failed India bundled out. Certainly Smith is not Bradman right ? Or is he ?

  • Marcio on March 4, 2017, 5:45 GMT

    So telling the truth that India are under pressure is a mind game? I thought it was merely an observation, the same one made by many observers this week, including me. If Kohli is so weak-minded that he needs to respond to such mundane comments, it only shows they are true.

  • Marcio on March 4, 2017, 5:42 GMT

    SARANGSRK, comparing the behaviour of Smith and Kohli is ridiculous. Any neutral observer can see the huge difference.

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