Virat downplays Smith's criticism over more number of tons
Chennai: Downplaying Australia skipper Steven Smith's claims, Indian skipper Virat Kohli on Saturday said he never plays for three-figure mark and if he hits ton then it comes in the course of time.
Australia skipper Steve Smith on Saturday had brushed aside Virat Kohli staying ahead in the race for One-Day International (ODI) centuries, saying India plays a lot more limited overs cricket than them.
“I don’t play for the three-figure mark, maybe that’s why I end up crossing it more times because I am not thinking about it. So I don’t put myself under pressure. For me, what’s most important is to win the match for the team,” said Kohli at a press conference on Saturday.
“Even if I am 98 not out or 99 not out, I don’t mind, as long as I win the game. In that process, things end up happening because you want to stay till the end. If there are enough runs on the board you end up achieving those landmarks, because you are thinking of that end result (and) not about you reaching that landmark. So my motivation has never been that, it will never be that,” he added.
Kohli currently has 30 centuries in 194 ODIs to Smith's eight in 98 50-over games. Among the best batsmen in the world right now, Kohli and Smith are always compared with New Zealand's Kane Williamson, England's Joe Root and South Africa's AB De Villiers combining all formats.
What Steven Smith had said?
- I think India play a lot more ODI cricket than we do. I'm not sure how many games Virat has played. He is a very good player
- I am not worried about personal accolades. I am here to try and win a series
The Indian team has a very good top seven and all guys are capable of scoring big runs.
- Our bowlers have to be on the top of their game to keep them quiet this series
Smith said losing Shikhar Dhawan for the first three ODIs is a blow to India.
"I think Shikhar has obviously been playing well for India for the last year or so at the top of the order. Obviously it is tough for them. Hope everything is okay with him," he said.
"I think they still have got a very strong batting line-up whether KL Rahul opens or Ajinkya Rahane does. I am not sure but we are ready for both. They have a strong top-six or seven."
Smith also said Travis Head had been kept to bat at no.4, insisting that the absence of Finch didn't change things.
"Nothing really changes. I'll tell you Travis will probably bat at four. I won't give too much away other than that. There's a good chance he'll be filling the No. 4 spot," the Aussie skipper said.