Virat Kohli was his feisty self while answering questions from the media ahead of the Test.
On what he said during and after the Bengaluru Test, the Indian captain noted, “I think about what I say. 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 a lot of cricket to be played in the series. It’s time we focussed on the remainder of the series.”
Kohli said, “It is not the first time in my life that people have spoken about me, certainly not the last time. I would have done a few things right in my career to be given the opportunity to captain the side. As long as you are honest with yourself, work hard on a daily basis, you are answerable to no one.”
Asked whether he had made specific allegations on his counterpart Steven Smith without adequate proof, Kohli replied, “If no charges were pressed against me, how are they allegations?”
Kohli emphasised the series was not about individual battles but about teams facing one another. “Honestly, Ashwin didn’t look at his second innings performance in Bengaluru as a reply to Lyon’s eight-wicket haul in the first. We don’t look at any of these competitions.”
The Indian captain lauded the batting of Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane in the second innings of the second Test. “I saw Pujara opening up his stance which was an apt adjustment for him to give himself more space to play the ball. Ajinkya, again, getting inside the line of the ball and not playing through the covers.
“I think those are the small adjustments. K.L. Rahul is batting well anyway but I think those two guys stepped up their game and found a way to score runs on a difficult wicket.”
Kohli refused to make predictions about the surface in Ranchi. “I have not come across a cricketer who can see the pitch and predict correctly as to what will happen on that particular wicket.”