DHARAMSALA: Australian skipper Steve Smith revealed Friday his team held a relaxing session with the Dalai Lama where they learnt about keeping their cool, just a day ahead of the high-pressure series decider against India.
Smith has been in the centre of a controversy after his opposite number Virat Kohli accused him of systematically abusing the Decision Review System during the second Test in Bangalore.
The Aussie captain has admitted breaching the DRS rules by looking up to his own dressing-room to seek advice over whether to review an lbw dismissal, but he insists it was a one-off “brain-fade”.
The verbal volleys have continued unabated with each side hurling accusations at each other through the bitterly fought series, tantalisingly poised 1-1 ahead of the finale in Dharamsala beginning Saturday.
The stakes could not be higher for Smith’s men as they seek to win their first Test series in India in 13 years despite starting as underdogs.
With emotions running high, the Australian team headed out for a private meeting Friday morning with the Dalai Lama who has lived in exile for over half a century in McLeodganj, a suburb of Dharamsala nestled in the Himalayas.
“I asked him a question about sleeping and how he could help me and he gave me his blessings,” Smith said at a news conference.
“We rubbed our noses together. Hopefully it will help me with my sleep over the next five days!”
On a more serious note, Smith said the team learnt all about kindness and compassion.
“It probably relaxes us a little bit. He (Dalai Lama) is all about compassion and oneness for each and every human being. It was great to hear something like that from someone as prestigious as the Dalai Lama.
“It was a great experience for all of us. I guess the one thing that we can learn from it, it’s that sometimes we get over the top when we are out there playing cricket.
“It’s a tough game but at the end of the day it’s just a game and you need to realise that at times. I guess that is something this team can take from meeting the Dalai Lama.”