Virat Kohli: ‘You can never underestimate the Australian bowling attack’

India captain Virat Kohli acknowledges his team’s batsmen have a “big challenge” to contend with in the rest of the Test series in Australia.

Tough task ahead: Virat Kohli is geared up for what he believes will be a “competitive series.”   -  AFP

Virat Kohli has struck a cautious note in assessing the present Australian Test team, noting that it possesses a “quality bowling attack.”

The Indian captain, in an interview with former Australia wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist for bcci.tv, acknowledged his batsmen have a big challenge in their hands in the rest of the tour, in what he expects to be a competitive series. India won a nip-and-tuck first Test in Adelaide by 31 runs.

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Referring to the absence of batsmen Steve Smith and David Warner from the opposition batting line-up, he said, “Losing your two best batsmen, it’s going to be a huge loss for any team. But you can never underestimate the Australian bowling attack. They have been playing for a while. They played the Ashes as well. They are a quality bowling attack. As batsmen, we [have] got ourselves a big challenge.”

'Balanced'

Commenting on his own team, he said, “We always look at a big tour like this as an opportunity. But yes, I would say that we are definitely much more balanced than we were last time we came here. As I mentioned in a press conference before we left India was there is so much focus on how good the bowling attack is. If our batsmen come together nicely, then we’re able to dominate games; even the game that we won in England, we batted well, because the bowlers are taking wickets anyway. You don’t want to be a side that wins one-odd Test match here and there, we want to be a side that has the ability to win Test series away from home.”

Potent attack: Virat Kohli acknowledges the high quality of Australia's bowling attack. Photo: Getty Images

 

Owing to the Australian slump since the ball-tampering scandal, India has seemingly better chances of winning the Test series in Australia this time, than in most tours in the country. Kohli reflected on the dramatic episode in South Africa. “The thing that hit me the hardest was the way they were received at the airports, and the way they were escorted out. Whatever the decisions were made — it’s not my place to comment on. But just to treat people like that wasn’t pleasant to see.”

Inspiring the next generation

Kohli was also asked about the legacy he would like to leave at the end of his career. He replied, “Most important thing is if I’m able to inspire the next lot, to push themselves towards excellence, and break their own barriers of any kind of limitations that they have in their minds or in their bodies. Because that’s what I believe in. To be able to play my cricket at the level that I want till the time I play is my goal. And if I can leave that legacy behind where people are striving for excellence everyday in what they eat, how they train, how much they sleep, what their rest patterns are like, how they practise, how they think about the game, and keep Indian cricket at that level. If I can contribute to that even five percent, I’ll be very happy at the end of my career.”

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