India Tour of Australia 2018: Tempers are expected to flare once again as India take on Australia in the much-anticipated tour this year, starting on November 21 in Brisbane. Back in the mix of things after enjoying a little break, India captain Virat Kohli has given a strong hint to the fans and experts of what to expect about the of the upcoming series in Down Under. Kohli has promised that his men will fight fire with fire if provoked by the intimidating Aussies who are known to play dirty. He said his team will retaliate with the same intensity but also will keep their on-field emotions in check and not seek unnecessary trouble. Also Read - Ravi Shastri Tags Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli: Yuvraj Singh's Satire is Epic | SEE POST
“When it comes to getting engaged in an argument on the field, I have been completely okay playing without an altercation. I have enough belief in my abilities.. those were very immature things I used to feed on when I was younger,” Kohli said at India’s pre-departure press conference. “Now being captain of the team, you do not have time to think of anything else apart from what the team needs.” Also Read - When I Played Under MS Dhoni, I Was in His Ears Every Over: Virat Kohli
In recent times, both India and Australia had been involved in some bitter verbal jousts. The past two Test series, in particular, have been marred with several controversies with Steve Smith’s brain-fade moment or Australian players’ mocking of Kohli’s injury problems. Also Read - Mohammad Hafeez Names His Favourite Top 5 Batsmen of All-Time, Includes Virat Kohli And Sachin Tendulkar in List
However, there has since been a transition in the Australian cricket culture after the infamous ball-tampering scandal that shook the foundation of cricket for the men in baggy green. Steve Smith and David Warner were banned for a year over their roles in the tampering row during Cape Town Test against South Africa.
Meanwhile, Kohli also promised that his team will play hard within the rules and will not start a sledging game. “We were always the ones giving it back. As long as it does not start, we will not go out looking for anything but we will reciprocate.
The 30-year old is also happy with the fitness level of his team. He said there was a marked difference between this team and the one that toured Australia four years ago – that has been possible only because of the skipper’s no-tolerance policy for unfit athletes in his squad. He also said that the vision and roles each individual is expected to perform will be outlined.
“Fitness levels are way up from the last time we toured there. It is about patience and maintaining the same pace throughout the day because the pitch can get boring at times as the balls do not move a lot. It is the only reason why Morne Morkel and Dale Steyn have succeeded. We need to put in a complete game and we want that to last for a series. Our focus will be on how batsmen bat well together. Bowlers are in a good space and they are doing well and we feel they can take 20 wickets every game.”
“Ravi Shastri’s inclusion has helped players improve their skills and that shows.”
“The lower order contributions as we saw in England and that made the difference. We want the lower order to put their hands up and get counted. As a whole batting unit, that is what we are looking to achieve.”
“It is not about enjoying the victory and forgetting about it. It is about learning from those victories and the tough situations that they encountered,” added Kohli.
Despite a sensational batting performance by the captain and standout performances by the fast bowlers, Team India have lost successive away Test series in South Africa and England majorly due to the failure of the batting unit. He now expects his batsmen to stand up and deliver in a phase when the bowlers are doing so well.
“We are always feeling good about the fact that we have a good bowling attack but our batsmen have to step up as well. That is something we spoke about after the England tour. Our focus will be more on how the batsmen bat together. Our bowlers are in the space and after a long time, we will we can pick 20 wickets in a game,” he said.
India are set to leave for Australia to play a three-match T20I series starting November 21 before the four-Test series gets underway from December 6. Also, three ODIs are scheduled to be played in January.