Body language key to rattle Kohli, says Ponting

Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting decodes ways to get under the skin of India captain Virat Kohli in the four-Test series that starts in Adelaide from December 6.

Former Australia pacer Mitchell Johnson (left) and Virat Kohli (extreme right) in a heated exchange at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in 2014.   -  AFP

 

Virat Kohli can be “rattled” and Australia should try to get under his skin rather than sitting back and be bullied by the Indian captain, said former skipper Ricky Ponting.

India will take on Australia in the four-Test series beginning here on Thursday and former Australia batsman Dean Jones has advised against provoking Kohli.

The India skipper has mellowed down since the previous tour Down Under but when asked if he will be baiting Australia on the field, Ponting said: “Well, he might. I don’t necessarily believe that he is someone you shouldn’t try to get under his skin. I have seen him rattled.

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“Mitchell Johnson definitely rattled him a few times with some good hostile bowling and some good hostile body language around him. So, I would not sit back and let anyone bully,” Ponting told cricket.com.au.

“The way we go about playing cricket, especially at home, it is about good strong body language. That is the way Australians have always played their best.”

Mitchell Johnson bowls a bouncer to Kohli in the 2014-15 series.   -  GETTY IMAGES

 

Ponting, under whom Australia dominated world cricket, said it would be “rubbish” if the current side doesn’t play with an aggressive mindset.

“Yes, Australian teams of the past have always had few words to say but it was always on the back of some good hostile bowling, you can’t do without it. It is rubbish otherwise.

“You have to able to impose yourself on the game in a way other than using your mouth. You got to use your actions and skills.”

India lost the four-Test series 0-2 in 2014 but Kohli amassed 692 runs at an average of 86.25, including four centuries.

Had he been the captain, Ponting says he wouldn’t have allowed Kohli to get a good start.

“With someone like him who likes to score freely, he has obviously got a big ego, there are other things you can do. Don’t let him score boundaries early on. Try and bowl tight, consistent stuff,” he said.

“He also likes to run the ball down to third man so maybe play around with guys behind the wicket in different areas, just get inside his head as to what we are trying to do.

“Another thing I will be doing is going back and looking at who has had the most success against him and why. The first one that comes to mind is James Anderson. He seems to trouble him the most,” added Ponting.