Smith plays mind games as Kohli praises Aussie team

"I feel fantastic, I couldn't be hitting the ball any better but it's just that the runs aren't coming for me at the moment", ESPNcricinfo quoted Warner as saying after the drawn third Test in Ranchi. They had magnificent plans. "I had a couple of words to some boys around Christmas time and they weren't seeing any trends or anything with my dismissals, everything I was doing at training was spot on and in the normal way I go about it".

Smith used up 68 deliveries while scoring his 21 runs while Renshaw scored 15 runs off 84 balls. "As a partnership, me and Renners [Renshaw] have been getting off to an okay start. I just misjudged it, made a mistake and paid the price", he said.

Marsh made 53, the duo frustrating India for almost four hours with a dour 124-run stand to shatter the hosts' chances of going 2-1 up in the four-test series.

"So I think that's why the Australians will probably be confident ... and India will be a little bit nervous". Such decisions are meant to be taken without off-field input and Handscomb subsequently apologised.

Kohli reckoned the result could have been different had the balls used in the Test retained their firmness.

Sparks flew a few times in Ranchi but Smith would not complain.

"When you play only one format, you are always extra determined to make it count". If a ball dipped, I was just trying to play the ball. "That's how I would explain it and no issues with that". "It was a really nice wicket". "But the hardness of the ball in the middle session was a factor", Kohli said at the post match press conference. Marsh, who is in the finest phase of his career, batted for almost four hours in a performance up there with any of his Test centuries.

"Credit to the groundsman, the wicket held together beautifully". Not only did it last all five days, but kept everyone interested till the Test's final hour. "It was a nice wicket", he said.

Now the prize money given to the team sitting at the second position is fixed to be half a million United States dollars (about $AUD 650,000).

Kohli alleged that some Australians unnecessarily taunted Farhart but Smith denied the claim. I don't know why. Credit to the pair Smith said that he was absolutely delighted by the pair's effort, "Very proud".

The visitors appeared destined for a morale-sapping defeat when Steve Smith's off stump was sent cartwheeling before lunch but the maligned Shaun Marsh and newcomer Peter Handscomb saved the day.

"Even when the BCCI called a ceasefire with Cricket Australia last week, Kohli still refused to back down from his cheating accusations. When you get to the fifth day, as it is the pace becomes slower", reasoned the Indian skipper.

The left-right batting combine of Handscomb and Marsh outmanoeuvered the Indian bowlers during their 232-minute resistance, which was broken only late in the final session. "But it's okay. These things happen on the field". Not being able to take the field [due to a shoulder injury] and watching the opposition get big runs was hard. "They backed themselves to the hilt, we backed them and it's great that they were able to do what they did". The match started out cold but heated up towards the end with India almost winning the game.

  • Julie Sanders