‘Not worried about accolades for Kohli’
I hope the guys will put their hands up and play some good cricket and win games for Australia. That’s really important for us.
Australia captain Steve Smith said he is not too worried about India captain Virat Kohli running away with the top honours in ODI cricket. Kohli, Smith, Joe Root and Kane Williamson are the crème de la crème of this generation’s batsmen but Kohli is proving to be something special in the 50-over format with 30 centuries in 194 matches.
Of those, 19 have come batting second, making Kohli the batsmen with the most centuries in successful chases. Sachin Tendulkar, with 17, held the previous record. When asked why Kohli is quickly increasing the gap between him and the rest, Smith chose to stay non-committal.
“I’m not sure. I think India play a lot more ODI cricket than we do. I’m not sure how many games Virat has played. Both Virat and Joe Root are very good players. I am not worried about personal accolades or anything like that. I am here to try and win a series,” said Smith at a press conference here ahead of the first ODI.
“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 in this series,” he said.
With less than two years to go for the next World Cup, this series should provide both teams some answers with regards to team combination. Smith has done the calculations as well. “We had a chat about it the other day. We have about 30 ODI games before the World Cup. For us it is about trying to find the right group of players to fill all slots,” he said.
“Hopefully, this group can go a long way into filling those spots and play some really good cricket in the next five here and the onedayers to the World Cup. As a team we want to win major tournaments and are always looking to ensure we are in the best possible position to do so. It is another step towards that,” he said.
Though preparing for the World Cup is the long-term plan, there is no doubt in the visitors’ mind that they are here to win the ODI series. “Conditions are obviously slightly different to what they will be in England. But I think it is a good opportunity to put their names up there and hopefully win some games for Australia,” said Smith.
Australia captain Steve Smith during practice in Chennai.