India captain Virat Kohli has said that Steve Smith suffering from stiffness in his back during Tuesday’s training session does not mean that the visitors will change their plans against the prolific Australia batsman in the first Test beginning Thursday at the Adelaide Oval.
The Australian media have been expecting Indians to use the short ball against Smith after the Aussie batsman failed against the variety against New Zealand last season.
“I don’t think the back has got anything to do with us changing our plans to him or any other batter. Our plans are pretty much sorted and ready for all the batsmen we have to come up against. We have to make sure that we execute those plans consistently and as efficiently as possible to be able to trouble them and get those breakthroughs and dismiss them at the right times during the Test match,” said Kohli on the eve of the first Test on Wednesday.
“We are not focussed on if their players are going to start or not. We are only focused on what we can do as a team, go on to the field to be able to execute them. So yeah, we are only focused only on what we can do as a side,” he added.
The India captain admitted that starting with the pink-ball Test will be a challenge and the previous series win in Australia — in 2018-19 — does not mean anything other than helping them inspire.
“The pink-ball Test is probably going to be a bit more challenging in terms of conditions — how the ball moves around in the evening…to be able to adapt to different conditions. The focus will be to be able to understand the situations we are presented with and trying to counter them to the best of our abilities. You can take inspiration from the past but I don’t think that guarantees anything heading into the future. We have to stay in present and play to the best of our ability. We have to play our best cricket to start well,” said Kohli.
The 32-year-old said Team India will have to break the matches against Australia into session by session.
“We have to break it ball by ball, session by session…Playing cricket here in a five-day game, you need determination and you have to come back every time you enter a session. So for that you need determination. We have played so much Test cricket that we know if we keep our mindset good we will find a solution…If you are in the moment then you will take out a solution immediately,” said Kohli.
“I keep things simple, don’t carry forward anything from the past. It is very important to stay in the present moment and understand the process you are going through in that particular moment,” he added.