New Delhi: Following Glenn Maxwell's "milestone-driven" comment against Virat Kohli, Australian skipper Steven Smith defended the Indian vice-captain saying it's only natural for a batsman to slow down when approaching a milestone.
“I think that can be natural for anyone around the world. When you see that sort of milestone coming, in the back of your mind you might slow down a little bit. I think Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma are quality players and they’re batting beautifully and I don’t see any problem with any selfishness there,” Smith said.
Earlier, ahead of Saturday's fifth and final One-Day International, Maxwell had said that "They (Indians) were, probably, just making sure they got to a milestone. Some people are milestone-driven, some people aren’t."
And referring to Kohli, who has hit back-to-back hundreds in two previous matches, the Aussie said, “I think, if you look back at it. I was sent a photo the other day. It said — Virat was 84 off 63 (factually, he was 84 off 61), and then 100 off 89 (100 off 84) or something like that. He got his last 11 runs off 22 (21) balls to get his hundred.”
Joining Smith in defence of Indian batsmen is Aussie opener Aaron Finch.
“The talk of Indian players being selfish was obviously Glenn’s view; that’s not my personal view,” Finch said.
“Virat Kohli got a 100 off 80-odd balls the other day — there was nothing selfish about that innings. That was an extraordinary, extraordinary innings. Shikhar Dhawan got it off about 95 balls, I think. He took the game on at the start for India along with Rohit (Sharma) and got them off to an absolute flyer. Gee! There are some seriously good players in India. Virat — 25 ODI hundreds now. That’s an unbelievable achievement,” he added.
The five-match ODI series concludes tomorrow in Sydney with Australia having already won the first four matches.
(With Agency inputs)