Australia limited-overs captain Aaron Finch wants the home team players to strike a “fine balance” when they confront Virat Kohli in the opening Test as he believes, if provoked too much, the India skipper can be “ruthless” against his opponents.
India and Australia have always shared an intense rivalry on the field, filled with verbal volleys, banters and controversies over the years.
The last time the two teams faced off in 2018-19, the Test series saw some heated exchanges between the two captains — Kohli and Tim Paine.
“I think there will be times when things boil over and when you have got strong characters on either team that’s going to come to a head at some point,” Finch was quoted as saying by ‘Sydney Morning Herald’.
“(But) there is a fine balance there, isn’t there? You don’t want him (Kohli) to get up and about in the contest. When he does, he can be ruthless on an opposition.”
The first Test of the four-game series, a day-night contest, begins on Thursday in Adelaide and it gains prominence since Kohli will be returning home after the match for the birth of his first child.
Finch, who was part of the last home Test series between the two teams, said the Indian skipper looks much calmer the way he goes about his job now.
“I think the change is in the way he goes about it now. I think as a person he is probably a bit more relaxed out on the field and understands the tempo of the game.”
Finch, who had played under Kohli in Royal Challengers Bangalore, said he was “surprised” to see the Indian’s confidence in this year’s IPL in the UAE.
“What really surprised me was how, he obviously does a lot of planning and preparation himself, and into the opposition, but he never focused more on the opposition than his own team,” he said.
“At Bangalore, he was always confident in the XI players that were picked and knew that if you played well, you had every chance of winning.
“I was really surprised by how confident he was in everyone, he had a lot of time for everyone. He was great around the group, a lot more relaxed. I had never played with him, I had only played against him.”
As someone who had many on-field duels with Kohli, Finch said it was good to learn about his relaxed side.
“We have had some great series where he has been on another level as a player but he has been right up and about in terms of being very vocal out in the middle. It was great to see that (relaxed) side of him.”
Finch, who led Australia to a 2-1 win over India in the ODI series before suffering a 1-2 loss in the T20Is, is not part of the current Test squad.