Smith wants Aussies to test Kohli’s patience on India tour
Melbourne, Dec 26 (IANS) Australia skipper Steve Smith wants his counterpart Virat Kohli “a little bit angry” when they play India at home in the four-match cricket Test series in February.
Smith felt that getting behind Kohli would distract his focus from the game, which according to the Australian will be advantageous for the visitors.
“He is a world-class player and he has, obviously, led the Indian team incredibly well over the last 18 months or so,” Smith said on ABC Grandstand on Monday.
“They have won a lot of games in that time and I think they have played a lot of cricket at home in that time as well. I think he has improved a lot body language wise”.
“He is a very emotional character out on the field, but I think he has improved a lot there”.
“I guess for us as a team it’s trying to get him out of the strong emotional state and try and make him, I guess, a little bit angry and ruffle his feathers and things like that”.
“I think if you can get him in that state then the Indian team can possibly be a little bit vulnerable,” Smith added.
India have been invincible at home stretching their run to 18 matches, with Kohli himself and the world’s top all-rounder Ravichandran Ashwin performing incredibly well.
All-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, with his slow left-arm spin has become a nightmare for visiting teams in the recent past.
Kohli now averages 60.76 against Australia and has been involved in several heated on-field incidents in previous years.
The Delhi lad became only the fifth player after Michael Clarke, Brendon McCullum, Ricky Ponting and Don Bradman when he hammered 235 in the fourth Test against England in Mumbai to record three double centuries in a calendar year.
Smith, however, conceded that the sub-continent tour will be a tough assignment for the Kangaroos, who are currently playing Pakistan in their own backyard.
“We go there in February and, no doubt, it’s going to be an incredibly difficult tour — going to India always is,” Smith said.
“Four Tests there, it’s a great opportunity for this team, where we are going to be the underdogs going there”.
“It would be fantastic to win a series there and we are going to have to make sure our processes are in order and we play a lot better than we have done in sub-continent conditions,” he added.
India play Australia in the first Test from February 23 in Pune next year.