Virat Kohli promises ‘line won’t be crossed’, but emotions will be on display
ADELAIDE, December 5: An Indian team brimming with confidence will aim to finally shed the poor travellers’ tag when it takes on a circumspect Australia in what is being perceived as the tourists’ best opportunity to win a Test series Down Under in 70 years.
While the narrative remained same during the earlier tours of South Africa (1-2) and England (1-4), Virat Kohli and his men will like to walk the talk as India’s tough cycle of away assignment ends with this four-Test series beginning at the Adelaide Oval on Thursday.
The series is even more important for Kohli as it would also define his legacy as a leader having already established himself as world’s premier batsman.
India’s past Test record in Australia is quite abysmal. In 44 Tests on Australian soil, they have only managed five wins thus far.
In 70 years and over 11 tours, only two drawn series, under Sunil Gavaskar in 1980-81 and with Sourav Ganguly in charge in 2003-04 is more a reflection of temperament of touring sides over the years rather than quality.
While the idea will be to play aggressive cricket but Indian team management’s choice of 12 with both Rohit Sharma and Hanuma Vihari in the mix is an indicator that they have climbed down from their aggressive five-bowler ploy in order to get 20 wickets.
Injured all-rounder Hardik Pandya’s absence does upset the balance of the side but getting an Australia side, which is still reeling under the after-effect of the ball tampering scandal with Steve Smith and David Warner serving their respective one-year suspensions.
Rohit Sharma is a prime contender for the extra batsman’s slot in Pandya’s absence.
Virat Kohli is confident that ‘lines won’t be crossed’ by either India or Australia as far as on-field behaviour is concerned but at the same time doesn’t want players to just show up without emotion.
“I don’t see stuff happening, which has happened in the past where both teams have crossed the line. But still it’s a competitive sport at the end of the day and it’s international cricket. We don’t expect guys to just come, bowl and walk back,” Kohli’s statement made it clear that he would like the contest to have its share of spice. (AFP)