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India vs Australia: Sledging Virat Kohli not necessarily a bad idea feels Ricky Ponting

India vs Australia: Ponting feels that placing the right field early into the India captain’s innings will hold the key for Tim Paine and his men.

cricket Updated: Dec 04, 2018 15:01 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
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Virat Kohli plays a shot on the second day of the tour match against Cricket Australia XI at the SCG.(AFP)

India skipper Virat Kohli will be expected to lead from the front when the visitors take on Australia in the four-Test series starting at the Adelaide Oval on Thursday and former Australia skipper believes that while Kohli is in the form of his life, there are ways to keep him under pressure and dismiss him. Ponting feels that placing the right field early into the India captain’s innings will hold the key for Tim Paine and his men.

“The first thing I’d be doing is going back and looking at how anyone has stopped him in the past,” Ponting told “Who has had the most success against Virat Kohli and why? The first one that comes to mind is someone like a James Anderson, who’s probably had the most success against him. From what I’ve watched over the years, he seems to trouble him the most.

“If the ball is not moving, he’s going to be really hard to get out. With someone like him who likes to score freely, he’s obviously got a big ego but there’s other things you can do. You can put a few fielders out (on the boundary) early on, don’t let him get any boundaries. Maybe don’t go as aggressive at him early on. Try to bowl lots of tight, consistent stuff.

“He likes to run the ball down to third man a lot as well, so maybe just play around with some guys in different areas which might just get inside his head as to what we’re trying to do. Bring your third (slip) or your floating slip up a little tighter because he tends to play with soft hands and run the ball down there.”

ALSO READ: Virat Kohli eight runs away from major milestone in Tests

Ponting feels that making Kohli think hard and earn his runs early in the innings is very important. “Just so he’s got to think about it and show that we’re ready and prepared for what he can do. I think there’s little things that might just get inside his mind,” he said.

While many have warned the Aussies against sledging Kohli, Ponting begs to differ. “I don’t necessarily believe that you shouldn’t try to get under his skin,” Ponting said of Kohli.

“Mitchell Johnson definitely rattled him a few times with some good, hostile bowling and some good, hostile body language around him. We shouldn’t sit back and let anyone bully the way we go about playing our cricket, especially at home. They’re in our backyard.

“The great Australian teams that I played in always had a few words to say, but it was always on the back of some good, hostile bowling first. You can’t do it (verbals) without it – it’s just rubbish otherwise. You have to be able to impose yourself on the game in a way other than using your mouth,” he explained.

“You’ve got to use your actions and your skills and if they do that, then they can definitely unsettle him.”

First Published: Dec 04, 2018 10:15 IST