Kohli fires first salvo, says India can handle Johnson
Talking tough ahead of the of the Test series against Australia, stand-in-skipper Virat Kohli said that the team is in the right frame of mind and totally equipped to handle the dangerous Mitchell Johnson.cricket Updated: Nov 24, 2014 00:07 IST
Talking tough ahead of the of the Test series against Australia, stand-in-skipper Virat Kohli said that the team is in the right frame of mind and totally equipped to handle the dangerous Mitchell Johnson.
"I think coming to Australia and playing, it's more about the mindset rather than getting used to the conditions, because pace and bounce is something which you can get used to. But unless you're mentally there, there's no point of any sort of practice," Kohli told reporters on the eve of the first two-day warm-up match against Cricket Australia XI.
Kohli also opined that the team is "absolutely" capable of withstanding the threat posed by the paceman Johnson.
"He's been bowling really well - everyone knows that. Credit to him for doing all that," Kohli said. "We are equipped enough to tackle him on these pacy and bouncy wickets. I don't see any good reason why we can't come up and put up a good fight.
"It's all about mentally being there. If you can visualise being in that battle and being on top, I think you're going to be able to go out there and execute it. I think the guys in our team have the ability to do it ... it's all about being mentally present."
Given the responsibility of leading the side in the first Test in the absence of Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who is recovering from a wrist injury, Kohli, who led India to the Under-19 World Cup triumph in 2008, said that he has always been comfortable as a leader.
"I love leading the side, I love being captain, I love putting my first foot forward and putting in my (views) throughout the game. I don't see any issues on why I can't be up to the challenge.
"As long as the team backs me and puts in the performances we want, I think I'm going to look good at the end of the day," said Kohli.
Responding to Australian paceman Peter Siddle's jibe that he might find the rowdy crowd and added responsibilities "a bit daunting", Kohli, who will become India's 32nd Test captain at the start of the four-Test series in Brisbane on December 4, was quick to answer back.
"Well that's for me to know and for me to experience," said the top-order batsman.
"I've played against him, he's quite a competitive guy so I'm not surprised there's already some banter starting from that end ... (and) I don't mind all that, he added.