The Australian cricket squad will be confronted by the red-hot form of Virat Kohli during the upcoming four-Test series and touring allrounder Glenn Maxwell is hoping that the roll of the dice would go against the Indian skipper.
“Guys can go through a run of form like that where they just get on a roll and everything seems to click for them, and that’s happened for him at the moment. The thing with that is it can take only one bit of bad luck or an unfortunate dismissal where he’s run out or something, and that can sometimes trigger a little bit of indecision or doubt,” Maxwell told the media ahead of the series opener in Pune commencing on February 23.
“So hopefully in the first couple of Tests we can create that doubt and get him wondering about his technique. We’ve obviously been watching him play over the last few months and just admired the way that he’s gone about it,” he added.
Kohli’s phenomenal form with the bat has seen him amass 1,457 runs in 13 Tests going back to India’s tour of the West Indies last year at an average of a shade over 80 per innings, and the run-spree includes four double hundreds.
“He’s been extremely consistent and he’s gone on to score big hundreds, which is something he didn’t do very much in the early part of his career but now he’s making big double hundreds and really winning the game for India,” Maxwell noted.
Australia captain Steve Smith said the team was trying to hatch a plan to stop the Indian run-machine.
“We are trying to form a game plan but I am not telling you. He’s a world class player and has been batting very well. He’s scored four double centuries in the last four series. He’s a big player for India along with the others. They have a strong top six and hopefully we can stop them,” Smith said.
Maxwell, a regular in the Indian Premier League, sounded wary about taunting Kohli with verbal volleys.
“I’m probably not going to say anything to him, that’s for sure. If you (strike) a chord with him, or something gets him agitated to play a big shot, then blokes are more than welcome to go for it. But at the moment, there’s not much agitating him,” the big-hitting batsman said.
“I think Steve said it perfectly in the press conference yesterday – the guys that want to get involved verbally, if that gets the best out of them then go for it,” he added on the topic of sledging.