The pre-series build-up of the four Tests between India and Australia revolved around the spinners and the two top performers. It was Virat Kohli for India and Mitchell Starc for Australia. Former Australia and India players were looking forward to the on-field contest but they didn’t get to see much of it in the opening Test in Pune. The game was over inside the first three days and the only time the two came face to face – in the first innings – Starc got the better of the Indian skipper.
Early in the innings, without even troubling the scorers, Kohli chased a wide delivery and was caught in the slips. Round one went to the seamer but these are still early days in what is expected to be a gripping battle. It was a rare off day for the right-hander as he could aggregate just 13 runs in the match. Not reading too much into it, Starc feels there’s a long way to go.
“We know (Kohli) is going to be another key wicket for the rest of the series. There’s six more times we’ve got to get him out to really cement this series,” Starc told reporters.
“We know he’ll come back bigger and stronger, but he’s one I’ll take over Pujara at the moment,” Starc said when asked to rate the importance of his twin strikes in the first innings in Pune.
Australia are wary of “that Virat comeback” and seamer Starc feels Pune win is not enough to seal the four-match series. With three Tests to go, Starc is not keen to release the foot off the pedal.
“He’s a class player, we all know that. He’s scored a mountain of runs already this year. We’re going to have to be wary of that Virat comeback.
“We are really happy that it happened that way for us, but we know that one Test is not going to win us the series. It’s three important Test matches to go,” said Starc.