Sport

Skipper Smith claims momentum in Test series

Steve Smith says Australia holds the momentum in Test series.
Steve Smith says Australia holds the momentum in Test series. Aijaz Rahi

STEVE Smith has declared all the momentum is with Australia heading into Saturday's decider in Dharamsala as he launched a broadside at Virat Kohli's latest act of disrespect.

The fired up Australian captain slammed his counterpart for wrongly accusing him of mocking his injured shoulder.

Kohli, who missed nearly two days of the match with sore shoulder before returning, exploded at Smith on the field yesterday morning for disrespecting the work of Indian physio Patrick Farhart.

The accusation was completely ludicrous given Smith never even put his hand to his shoulder - it was the arm of a teammate that caused an optical illusion on television replays.

However, Smith has stood his ground and believes the power of Peter Handscomb and Shaun Marsh's match-saving partnership would have made the Indian dressing room a solemn place last night.

"If there's anything called momentum, it's with us at the moment," said Smith.

"I think India coming today would have expected to bowl as out and they're probably hurting in the change room now at the moment.

"But having said that, it's 1-1 and we're playing for a decider in Dharamsala and the group is really looking forward to it."

Asked why he was embroiled in a war-of-words with Kohli over a mocking gesture he never made, Smith didn't hold back, lighting the fuse for a fiery finale starting on Saturday.

"I was a bit disappointed. I didn't actually do anything. Virat was having a go at me out in the middle saying I was disrespecting their physio Patrick Farhart," said Smith.

"If I did do anything ... he did a terrific job to get Virat out on the field. He's a terrific physio."

Kohli was vague in his post-match press conference about what occurred, inferring that Australian players had been using Farhart's name in vain in some way.

Smith admitted he started to fear the worst when he had his off-stump knocked out of the ground by Ravi Jadeja before lunch, and praised the work of Handscomb and Marsh, who he believes have given Australia the higher ground.

"I'm very proud. They had magnificent plans and they backed their defence for a long period of time," said Smith.

"To see the game out for as long as they did, was an outstanding performance. I'm really proud of the way they did that.

"One of the things we've talked about is being resilient and being able to stick out the tough times and that was really tough.

"I'm sure all of the boys who batted out in the middle, Matt Renshaw, Shaun and Handscomb ... I'm sure they will take loads out of what they did in the second innings. It's never easy to bat the fourth innings in India to save the game. I was exceptionally proud of the way they went about their business."

News Corp Australia

Topics:  steve smith test cricket tour of india virat kohli


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