India tour of Australia: In first Test as skipper, Virat Kohli has nothing to lose

Virat Kohli has already made his intention clear about playing aggressive cricket Down Under.

Written by Bharat Sundaresan | Adelaide | Published: December 9, 2014 4:21 am
Under Virat Kohli's captaincy, India have won the ongoing ODI series against Sri Lanka Under Virat Kohli’s captaincy, India clean swept Sri Lanka recently.

Virat Kohli generally doesn’t require a second invitation to talk about aggression or being aggressive. He thrives on it. Monday was no ordinary day though. It was the eve of his first Test match as India captain. The time was here for the boy wonder of Indian cricket to take the mantle of leading his country. That too in a land not known to be very welcoming towards opposition teams, and especially their leaders. And true to nature, it was his will to play aggressive cricket that Kohli reiterated, while insisting, “I don’t mind a fight.”

Kohli’s previous Test tour to Australia was an interesting one. He was among the few regular run-scorers in the mix despite being the youngest. But he also went through massive periods of self-doubt in the midst of all the failure around him. Like he said here, it was also a tour he believes was an eye-opener in terms of playing cricket Down Under. It was also in many ways a glimpse into the future of the Indian Test team.

“I don’t mind a chat on the field, a bit of banter. It probably makes me more determined I guess. That’s the spice that I like. Last time around, I enjoyed it. I had to take it for a couple of Tests, after a couple of incidents I found out there’s no other way of playing in Australia. Rather, just be myself,” he said.

But to be honest, Kohli has little to lose. Whatever the outcome in Adelaide, he will be handing the reins back to Dhoni in a week’s time. Win, and his tag as the heir apparent gets strengthened further. Lose, and it’s just forgotten as a one-off. Kohli though was confident of leaving his mark in his maiden leadership stint.

“You might see things different from what you usually see. I am someone who goes with what I feel. It might look funny but as long as it’s effective. But the intent is going to be aggressive. That’s something that I’ve played my cricket with, and it’s certainly something that I am going to use in my captaincy as well,” he said.

This will also be the first time India will start a series with a pace attack that has bowlers who can push the envelope in terms of genuine pace.

That according to Kohli makes this the best Indian bowling attack to come to these shores, and could also be the difference-maker this time around. He also said that there was no debate over whether his bowlers would dish out bouncers at the Australian batsmen.

“It is a part of cricket. It’s every bowler;s right to utilize it and it depends on what we have in mind. We have four bowlers who can bowl quick, all are fully fit right now. It’s obviously a great thing to have. Three-four guys bowling 140+, maybe couple of them going up to the 150+ as well. Feels good as a captain,” he said.

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