Virat Kohli has called for the game's stakeholders to move on from the DRS row that took place in the second Test, as top-ranked India and Australia prepare to square off in the crucial third Test in Ranchi starting on Thursday with the high-profile four-match series level 1-1.
“A lot has been given
Asked if he had any regrets over the comments he made after on the DRS incident in the second Test, the India skipper replied, “I don’t have any regrets for what I said, but again, as I said before, we need to move ahead from it. We can’t think about one issue all the time. We are not trying to push things further because in the past it has been seen that when things stretch too long it causes disharmony and yields no outcome. So it is in the best interest of everyone that we move on and focus on the game.”
Kohli also kept his calm over the recent criticism he has been getting from some sections of the Australian media, saying, “It's fine if they criticize me, I take it in my stride. They do their job and I do mine.”
During the press conference, an Australian journalist sought to know if it was appropriate for an international captain to make serious allegations and not provide evidence to substantiate that. “What were the allegations?” Kohli countered. “That Australia weren’t using the DRS the right way, two other occasions,” replied the journalist.
“But what were the allegations called?” asked Kohli. To which the journalist said, “Doesn’t matter what the allegation is called.”
“But it does because it has to be called something for me to be questioning something about someone to call it an allegation. If no charges were pressed against me, how are those allegations?” replied Kohli.
“You said two instances when you were batting, Australia used the DRS wrongly. Do you stand by that?” countered the journalist.
“As I said, we need to move on and focus on the game tomorrow. We have got two more Test matches to go. There are two sides of the coin. I could be speaking about another thing again and things are just not going to move forward. Everyone sitting here has their own interests and chooses to ask what they want to. But our focus remains on the game and we need to look forward,” Kohli explained.
Speaking about individual battles (like Lyon v Ashwin, Kohli v Steve Smith), Kohli said his team was not focused on these. "We don’t focus too much on the opposition. Ashwin’s six-wicket was not his reply to Nathan’s eight-wicket haul. We don’t look at any such competitions and such contests are created to generate excitement which is fair.”
With regard to the much-talked about pitches in the series, Kohli said, "Even on a flat pitch if you tend to have pressure teams do buckle under it. I think most of the time batting collapses happen because of mental setbacks”.
Finally, Kohli lauded the subtle changes that his teammates made to their game, especially Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane against Nathan Lyon, that eventually led India to victory in the Bengaluru Test.
"Individually adjustments that the guys made was in their technique. I saw Pujara opening up on his stance which was an apt method to tackle Lyon. Ajinkya getting inside the line of the ball was another one. Those two really did well and with such minor changes it made a massive difference in the outcome of the result," he said.