Bengaluru: With the temperature soaring in the city, the atmosphere around the cricket stadium has also heated up as India and Australia gear up for the second Test match of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
And it would be needless to say that an India-Australia match would be a tad off-colour without a war of words and some light friction between the rivals. Both skippers spiced things up ahead of the match having a gentle go at each other.
Despite coming on the back of a huge loss, Indian skipper Virat Kohli was at his best, as he looked confident to overcome the deficit at the match starting here on Saturday.
If India are to keep the series alive, the tie will be a must-win game for the hosts. In fact, opposition skipper Steve Smith had suggested that India will be under pressure, but captain Kohli brushed it aside in a jovial manner, saying, “Me? Does it look like? I'm pretty relaxed, I'm happy, I'm smiling. It's fine.
“It's his view, whatever he wants to say. I think it's time to focus on our skills rather than what Australia is saying or preparing like. I know these mind games, and these press conferences are something they're very good at. We're still going to play the cricket that we played in the last two years and see where the series ends in the fourth game.”
But it is always a tad bit difficult to bounce back from a crushing loss. There’s a saying ‘Raat gayi, baat gaayi’ (moving on from the past), and though the skipper backed the notion, he added that it is important to walk away with important lessons at the same time.
“It's very important. Obviously you will want to forget a bad result but it's important that you take it to heart. It's important that you learn from it. If you ignore it then you can't improve. It's important to accept that we lost the match because of a lack of intent and because the other team played better cricket than us. If your ego is hurt and you ignore it then that thing piles on.
The loss in Pune had broken India’s unbeaten run of 19 matches, but the 28-year-old added that a loss sometimes helps the team regroup and get more focussed.
“We know we didn't play well and Australia did; that doesn't mean that will happen in every Test match. You will not get to see a performance like that again; that I can assure you,” added a confident Kohli.
“I think it's an opportunity to understand what other things we still need to work on. We are all professional cricketers. But sometimes when you are winning a lot of games, you don't tend to focus on points that need to be improved as such, because someone or the other is stepping up. When the whole team does not execute the things that you want to, you understand the things that you need to work on as a team. That's always a good sign,” signed off the captain....