Mumbai: Steve Smith on Tuesday made it clear that he will not stop his Australian teammates from getting involved in verbal battles against Virat Kohli-led Indian side in the upcoming four-match Test series.
There has never been a shortage of verbal volleys in India and Australia matches. While Monkeygate, involving Harbhajan Singh and Andrew Symonds, almost led to India leaving the Australian shores halfway through the 2008 series, India’s last trip to Australia also saw Kohli giving a mouthful to Smith, who was airing his views as he batted on.
Smith was also involved in a verbal altercation with Kohli and Rohit Sharma during the last Test series between the two sides in 2014-15. The series, which saw MS Dhoni retiring from Test cricket, also witnessed Kohli, Ishant Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Mitchell Starc being charged for breaching the ICC Code of Conduct.
Smith though displayed no intention to ask his players from verbal exchange against India. In fact, he encouraged teammates to get involved in some argy-bargy if that could boost their performance.
“I think each of our individual play the way they play. If they want to get into the battle verbally and if that gets the best out of them, then go for it. It is all about us making sure that as individuals, we are in the right mindset to go out and succeed and if the guys want to get in those kind of battles, then go for it,” said Smith during the press conference at the Cricket Club of India in Mumbai.
Smith though insisted that Australia can’t be compromising on their skills as they take on Kohli and Co who have not lost a Test in their last 19 outings.
“It is about us playing on skills and ensure that our skills are in best place to succeed in these conditions,” concluded Smith....