‘That would be at the back of his mind’: Steve Waugh explains how Virat Kohli will approach Australia series

With India’s tour of Australia less than three weeks away, for Indian fans, all eyes will be on Virat Kohli and how the Indian captain will plan for the test Australia will pose. The last time India toured Australia, Kohli’s team created history as India registered a Test series Down Under after 71 years. This time around however, the test will be a lot stiffer with the return of David Warner and Steve Smith, who, due to their respective bans, were not part of the 2018-19 Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

Also Read | ‘I was batting around 150’: Virender Sehwag recalls when Pakistan batsman asked him to sing Kishore Kumar song

Besides eyeing back to back triumphs Down Under, Kohli will be aiming to have a good series with the bat and try and outdo Steve Smith, reckons former Australia captain Steve Waugh. The Kohli vs Smith battle is one of modern cricket’s fiercest rivalries and the last time these two faced each other in a Test series – the 2017 Border-Gavaskar trophy in India – Smith took the honours with 499 runs from four matches, while Kohli had a quiet series, with just 46 runs from three Tests.

Also Read | Bumrah and Archer could stand up and be counted in any era of cricket: Lara

“He (Kohli) is a world-class player. He would want to be the batsman of the series. Last time, he and Smith came up against each other in India, Smith really dominated with three hundreds and Kohli didn’t get many,” Waugh said in a video posted by ESPNCricinfo. “That would be at the back of his mind that last time he was outscored by Steve Smith. So, he will want to score lot of runs and if he does, India will have a great chance of winning.”

Also Read | ‘We’ll start hearing about him for sure,’ Tom Moody impressed with Mumbai Indians youngster, calls him the ‘real package’

Waugh is not a believer of the idea of sledging being used as a tool to get under Kohli’s skin. As seen in the past, useless chatter does not have an effect on Kohli; instead, if anything, it only riles him up even more, and Waugh feels needless sledging will only push and motivate the Indian captain further.

“Sledging is not going to worry Virat Kohli, it doesn’t work against the great players and you’re better off leaving those guys alone. I think any extra motivation will make them dig in more and get more runs. So you’re better off not saying much to him,” Waugh added.

Kohli is India’s most successful Test captain having led the team to 33 wins from 55 matches, including series wins in West Indies and Australia. Waugh reckons captaincy has helped Kohli mature and with him in charge, India boast an entirely different look with Kohli’s style rubbing off on the entire team.

“He has definitely matured, he was always excitable on the field, may be a little not in control. But now he is totally in control and he has got the team playing in his mode. He wants India to prove themselves away from home to justify the number one ranking. He has taken them to a level that maybe they didn’t get to before,” Waugh said.

Get Latest Cricket Updates, Live scores and Top news on HT Cricket.

Source: Read Full Article