Don’t dare sledge Virat Kohli, Mike Hussey warns Australia cricket team | cricket | Hindustan Times
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Don’t dare sledge Virat Kohli, Mike Hussey warns Australia cricket team

Virat Kohli is a “real competitor, says Michael Hussey, and warns Steve Smith and Australia cricket team not to antagonise the India cricket team skipper with verbal taunts during the Test tour in February-March.

cricket Updated: Feb 04, 2017 14:39 IST
IANS
India vs Australia
India cricket team skipper Virat Kohli has had many run-ins with Australia cricket team players over the years. (Getty Images)

Former Test star Michael Hussey has warned the India-bound Australia cricket team for a four-Test tour not to antagoniseVirat Kohli, saying sledging the India cricket team captain may boomerang on the visitors.

Calling Virat Kohli “a real competitor”, the 41-year-old Hussey, who played 79 Tests before retiring in 2013, said engaging in a verbal spat with the Indian skipper will only fire him up which will benefit the hosts in the matches.

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“I wouldn’t try and fire him up. I think he thrives on that and he’s a real competitor. He loves being in the fight and loves the contest out in the middle,” Hussey was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.

Kohli, who has not lost a single series at home and did not lose a single Test in the 2016 season, has a wonderful record against Australia. In 12 Tests, he has 1276 runs at an average of over 60 with six centuries. In the last series between these two countries Down Under, he hit 692 runs at an average of 86.5 with four centuries.

“I’d make sure we have some very clear plans and we try and stick to them as best as we possibly can. There’s no need to get involved in that sort of verbal barrage because I think that fires him up even more.”

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Hussey has instead asked Steve Smith’s men to back their skills and focus on the game rather than engaging in on-field antics during the tough tour of the subcontinent.

“You don’t want to get carried away with too much talk and lose your concentration of what’s important, which is executing your skills.

“The team that wins will be the one that can execute their skills at the highest quality and for the longest period of time. It’s not going to be the team that’s the most verbal or the most aggressive,” said Hussey, who averaged more on Asian soil than any other Australia batsman to have played five Tests or more in those conditions.

The first of the four-match Test rubber will be played from February 23 in Pune.

Australia have endured a tough time in Asia, having lost nine consecutive Tests since 2013. In India, they have not won a Test match since 2004 while they have lost seven Tests in a row, including a 4-0 whitewash in 2013.