Virat Kohli's temper makes him vulnerable: Mitchell Johnson | cricket | Hindustan Times
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Virat Kohli's temper makes him vulnerable: Mitchell Johnson

The Australians are known to be smart at using sledging as a weapon to get under the skin of vulnerable opponents on the cricket field.

cricket Updated: Jan 03, 2015 03:07 IST
Sai Prasad Mohapatra

The Australians are known to be smart at using sledging as a weapon to get under the skin of vulnerable opponents. On the other hand, Virat Kohli has declared he is spurred when the opposition tries to involve him in a verbal spat. And, he has backed his statement with runs on this tour.

As the Test series enters the final stretch, all eyes are going to be on Kohli's battle with the bowlers at Sydney. To add spice to it, Kohli is not only Australia's prime target for being India's batting mainstay, he is now also the captain of the opposition.

If Kohli was expecting the home team players to back off after his third hundred at Melbourne, Australia's pace spearhead, Mitchell Johnson, has promised that the verbal volleys will continue. Johnson's enthusiasm has been based on the period of play when an angry-looking Kohli played some loose shots after Johnson hit him with a throw on his follow-through during the first innings at Melbourne. The left-arm pacer believes Kohli's hot-head makes him vulnerable.

"He's an interesting character. He is a fierce competitor and he really does like to get involved in it all. But I think you can get him to a point where the emotions do come in … that's where you do want to get him, I think and that's where the mind games come in," Johnson said.

"We saw after I threw the ball at the stumps and he happened to be in the way of the stumps, he didn't really like that too much. No one does... but I apologised and I thought we'd moved on.

"He started to play a few loose shots after that so we knew he was losing his cool a little bit. We saw an opportunity there and we'll see how he goes as captain now.

However, Kohli quickly composed himself to send Johnson and Co on a leather hunt.

Mitchell Johnson said Virat Kohli's approach hardly changes irrespective of who the opponents are. "It doesn't matter who he plays against, he plays in your face and that is how he likes to play the game."

Australia's strategy of targeting Kohli with mind games would also be because their bowlers have otherwise looked clueless against the batsman. Now, that Kohli takes over as full time captain, there's lot of interest about his all-out aggressive natural style, and how different he will be while leading the Indian team compared to Dhoni's leadership, which was a mix of controlled aggression and playing on patience.

Johnson doesn't expect Kohli to tone down his aggressive approach.

"It could be quite interesting because they're not known for that aggressive type of play. But ever since I've seen him play cricket, I've always seen him pretty fiery. So he'll definitely be an aggressive type of captain I think in the way he sets fields and I think you'll see a lot different to what MS did.

"It doesn't matter who he plays against, he plays in your face and that is how he likes to play the game."