India captain Virat Kohli has fired the first salvo ahead of the highly-awaited clash against longtime rivals Australia, giving an insight of his mindset regarding the day-night Test matches. Sitting comfortably on the top of ICC Test team rankings, Team India has been in dominant form in the longer format and has consistently produced performances to prove their authority over their rivals. Also Read - ICC World Test Championship 2021: Here's What Virat Kohli-Led Team India Needs to do Qualify For Final
Since their loss to England in 2018, India have won all their Test series including the historic win over Australia on tour to Down Under in 2018-19. After opposing the idea of pink-ball Tests for a fairly long time, India played their maiden day-night Test against Bangladesh last November, winning the match with plenty of time to spare at the Eden Gardens. Also Read - ICC Test Rankings: Rohit Sharma Attains Career-Best 6th Position in Batsmen's List; Ravichandran Ashwin Climbs to 3rd in Bowlers' Tally
“We played the day & night test here (India), we are happy with how it went. It has become a very exciting feature of any Test series, we are open to playing day-night tests. We are ready for the challenge,” Kohli said during a press conference on the eve of the three-match ODI series vs Australia. Also Read - MS Dhoni Offers Prayers at Dewri Temple in Ranchi Ahead of IPL 2021, Fans Gather in Numbers to Catch Glimpse of CSK Captain | SEE PICS
“Whether it’s Gabba, Perth doesn’t matter to us. We do have the skillsets now to compete against anyone in the world anywhere in any format of the game, whether it’s white ball, red ball or pink ball, we’re ready to play anything,” the skipper asserted.
Last year Australia Test captain Tim Paine took a cheeky dig at Kohli when asked about India playing day-night Test in Australia on 2020 tour. Paine had sarcastically remarked that his Australian team would need to ask Kohli if he was willing to play day-night Test Down Under.
“We’ll certainly try and we’ll have to run that by Virat (Kohli). We’ll get an answer from him at some stage I’m sure. As I said we’ll ask Virat and see if we can get his permission to play here and maybe even get a Pink-ball Test if he’s in a good mood,” Paine had said.
Australian want to play two Tests of the four-match series under lights when India tour next summer. The hosts want to start the series at the Gabba in Brisbane, where they have not lost a Test for a long time.
“India-Australia, it’s not a totally new thing that we’re going to experience (for) either side. The teams know each other so well, we played each other so much, and the competition has always been good. Having won last year, that gives us a lot more confidence going back,” said Kohli.
With David Warner and Steve Smith back, the India skipper acknowledged that the upcoming tour will be a different ballgame and took note of Marnus Labuschagne’s meteoric rise. “This time around the series is going to be different, in terms of their batting challenging our bowlers. To be fair, last time around, the players were not that experienced.
“If you take out David (Warner) and Steve (Smith), Marnus (Labuschagne) came in but he played only one game. The way he’s shaped up in last summer, it’s amazing – so much consistency it always good to watch at the international level – and the hunger and the passion, you can see in his game,” the captain said.