India vs Australia: Kohli taking nothing for granted

India has a golden opportunity to win a series Down Under for the first time as Australia heads into the Test series without the services of Steve Smith and David Warner.

India skipper Virat Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri during a nets session ahead of the first Test.   -  GETTY IMAGES

Virat Kohli sought comfort from a familiar venue where he found enormous success and hoped that his men would compete well against Australia. “I love coming to this ground. For me Adelaide has always been special. I scored my first Test ton here, from then on the connection started,” the Indian skipper told the press here on Wednesday afternoon.

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Asked about the perceived deficiency within Australia following the bans on Steve Smith and David Warner, Kohli cautioned: “I don’t think any Australian side is vulnerable at home. They have the skill to still dominate at home and we have to be at our best to get the results we want. We are looking to correct things that haven’t gone right for us in the last two tours (South Africa and England).”

Kohli felt that his bowling arsenal is in fine fettle. “In Australia, it can get really get hot and the pitches can be flat purely because of the Kookaburra not doing much after 20-odd overs till it reverses around 45-50 (overs).

"The guys feel that they are at their peak. No one is going out there gunning for a six-wicket haul, if it means bowling eight good overs on the spot and getting a wicket for the team, they are ready to do that,” he said.

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Australia a great place to bat

The visiting captain also drew strength from his batting comrades, some of whom have toured Australia before and fetched reasonable runs. “It certainly will help that we have played quite a few Test matches here and scored runs. England and South Africa were tougher, (but) Australia can be a great place to bat if the batsmen apply themselves well. Australia’s bowling attack is really strong. They will challenge us. We need to step up as a batting unit,” he said.

The need to start well in the first Test was reiterated when Kohli said: “We are not looking to start tentatively. We all want to express ourselves. We want to bring our ‘A game’ in the first match and try and lay a good foundation for us to capitalise upon in the series.”

Kohli also stressed about the need to counter Nathan Lyon:  “He understands the pace of the wicket, the bounce it’s going to provide and where the fielder should be. He hits the bat harder and quicker than any other spinner that I have faced in Australia. You have to at your best against guys like Nathan.”

India Playing XII: Murali Vijay, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (capt), Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant, Ravi Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah