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India vs Australia: Virat Kohli urges batsmen to apply themselves and show character

If Virat Kohli’s aggressive net session on Tuesday is anything to go by, Australia’s bowlers will have their work cut out.

cricket Updated: Dec 05, 2018 11:50 IST
AFP
AFP
Adelaide
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File image of India skipper Virat Kohli.(AFP)

Australia begin the opening Test against India on a run of poor form and without batting powerhouses Steve Smith and David Warner, who remain banned. Without them, India could have a golden opportunity to break their series drought. And much will depend on India skipper Virat Kohli as the visitors take on the hosts at the Adelaide Oval, the ground the batsman considers his favourite away from home.

“I love coming to this ground, the city in general,” he said.

“That’s not to say that performances are always guaranteed in a certain place, but at Adelaide I feel different from many other places.”

If his aggressive net session on Tuesday is anything to go by, Australia’s bowlers will have their work cut out.

“Wow,” was all former Australian wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist could muster after watching him in action, while ex-England skipper Michael Vaughan tweeted: “I get the sense he is in the mood!”

ALSO READ: Virat Kohli starts mind games, says no Aussie team is vulnerable at home

Ishant Sharma, Mohammad Shami and Jasprit Bumrah will lead their pace attack -- ranked among the country’s strongest ever -- along with off-spinner Ravi Ashwin. Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Umesh Yadav missed out.

“The guys (bowlers) feel that they are at the peak of their skill levels at the moment and they are looking forward to this challenge,” said Kohli.

“The bowlers are of the mindset that whatever the conditions or however hard it might be, they are just looking forward to performing.”

But the world’s number one Test side are only too aware that away from home, their form is fragile. They went down 2-1 in South Africa and then 4-1 in England this year.

While the bowlers are in a great space, Kohli has so often carried the team and he urged character from his fellow batsmen. “If the batsmen apply themselves it can be a great place to bat,” he said of Adelaide.

“But it takes character. And I think the Australia team has great skills, especially their bowlers are really strong.

“We need to step up as a batting group, we understand that. There just needs to be a collective performance (bowlers and batters) on a regular basis.”

Squad: Murali Vijay, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (capt), Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant, Ravi Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah

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First Published: Dec 05, 2018 11:49 IST