In a span of just two games, the ongoing four-match Test series between India and Australia has already seen its fair share of controversies, allegations and media scrutiny.
If Steven Smith's on-field antics in the Bengaluru Test was not enough, the fact that Virat Kohli-led India appealed against the visiting Australians for allegedly flouting the rules only aggravated the issue. And, that's not all. The incident also engaged the Indian and Australian press corps who backed their respective teams.March 7, 2017
Going into the crucial third Test in Ranchi, the Indian captain is unperturbed by what is being said about him. The Indian batting sensation is past 'cheatgate' and now aims to focus on the game.
Asked whether he was being targeted, Kohli said: "It does not matter to me honestly. I don't start a series saying 'focus on me, speak about me or write about me'. It's not in my control. What's in my control is what happens on the field. If people choose to write about me, speak about me, that's their choice."
"Whether it's criticism or praise, it's all happened all in the past as well. Honestly these things don't affect me. It does not matter who writes what about me. They are doing their job, I'm doing mine.
No one plays 15-16 years of international cricket without being criticised. Everyone's making most of their jobs and my job is to play on the field," he added.
On being asked about 'allegations' against him, Kohli said he'd like to move forward.
"What were the allegations? If no charges were pressed against me how are those allegations? As I said, we need to move on and focus on the Test tomorrow. There are two sides of the coin," Kohli said.
"I could be talking about another [allegation] again and things are not just going to move forward. Everyone here has their own interests. Our focus remains on the game and we need to look forward," he concluded.
Kohli's comments highlight the mindset of a true leader and champion cricketer. The Indian team made a roaring comeback in the second Test and the controversy in Bengaluru is potent enough to hamper the psyche of the players.
Thus, as highlighted by Kohli, the hosts need to put all the chatter behind and commit themselves to the game. For all we know, the third Test in Ranchi might go on to decide the four-match Test series.