Ranchi: Though wanting to move on and focus on the third cricket Test here against Australia, India skipper Virat Kohli on Wednesday said he has no regrets about his showdown with Australian captain Steve Smith over DRS.
“A lot has been gone into the incident. It’s time we focussed on the remainder of the series. There’s lot of cricket to be played and it should not happen in bad taste. What’s happened in Bengaluru happened in Bengaluru, we are in Ranchi and we should look forward to tomorrow,” Kohli said at the pre-match press conference on the eve of the third Test here.
“Both teams have moved ahead from Bengaluru. I think the focus should get back on the series because the priority here is cricket. All other things happen in the background, we understand that as cricketers.”
Smith sought a signal from his teammates in the Australian dressing room for a Decision Review System (DRS) call after he was adjudged leg before wicket by umpire Nigel Llong.
Under the rules, the batsman is only allowed to consult non-striking batsman over whether to call for DRS, and nobody from outside the ground.
Smith’s gesticulation erupted into a controversy as Kohli lashed out at the Australians at the post-match news conference, saying as much as they “cheated” although not using the word.
It led to a heated exchange of words between the two captains before the International Cricket Council (ICC) intervened and brokered peace without penalising anyone in what was snowballing into another controversy like the bitter ‘monkeygate’ episode.
In his first interaction after his tirade against Smith in Bengaluru, Kohli said he did not regret what he said but at the same time he wanted to move on.
“See, I think about what I say. I don’t regret anything that I’ve said. But at the same time, it’s very important not to be stupid and go on with the same thing on a daily basis because there’s cricket to be played,” he said.
“There was a decent break in between. We certainly don’t want to sit and think about one issue all the time. We have two Test matches to play and that’s what we need to focus on.”
Hailing both the Board of Control for Cricket in India and Cricket Australia, Kohli said: “It was a mature decision on everyone’s part to move on from that. We’ve seen instances in the past when it stretched too long and it just caused disharmony and there’s no (other) outcome.”
“We just need to focus on the two games. You will always have two sides of the coin…that just takes the focus away from the game that we all are sitting here because of. I think it’s in the best interest of everyone that we move on and focus on the game.”
“It’s not the first time in my career people have spoken about me and 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’re honest and you work hard, you are answerable to no one. Everyone has their own opinion. I’m not challenging anyone. It’s totally up to them if someone challenges me. I am not going to hold a banner saying don’t speak ill about me. It’s all part of a whole journey,” he added.