Will Australia sledge Virat Kohli? Josh Hazlewood and Tim Paine weigh in

first_imgEven as Virat Kohli maintains he doesn’t feel the need to get riled up anymore, the Australian camp, it seems, are wary of sledging the India captain in the upcoming four-Test series.Vice-captain Josh Hazlewood points out Kohli is key to India’s chances and that the Australian team will come up with a “couple of options” to get the in-form batsman out early. However, the impressive right-arm pacer insists sledging the visiting captain is not going to be his priority.Kohli had scored 692 runs, including four hundreds during India’s previous Test tour of Australia and Hazlewood predicts the run-machine will once again take center stage when the rivalry renews in Adelaide Oval.”I see the Indian line up as the best in the world, if not right up there, led by Virat and I think they feed a lot of him and how he goes about things,” Hazlewood said.”They’ve played a lot at home since we played them last in Australia. They toured England and South Africa, and it was only Virat who stood out. A lot of the other haven’t scored too many of the runs,” he added.”I think we’ll obviously have a chat about him before the game starts. We’ll come up with a couple of options. It’s about what conditions suit, with a player of that caliber you need a few options.”Virat obviously thrives on that sort of stuff. It gets him going and he probably plays his best cricket when he’s doing that. It’s up to the individual – if it’s a bowler or a fielder. I am usually pretty quiet when I am bowling.”advertisementHazlewood’s comments come days after Australia captain Tim Paine insisted the hosts will have a word or two with Kohli, if needed.”We’ll just play it by ear; if there’s a time when we think we need to have a word with him, I’m sure we will. If there’s other times when we feel like we’re bowling well against him and are troubling him, then you don’t have to do it,” Paine had told the press.Meanwhile, Hazlewood has said it’s going an even contest between the two teams as Australia, at home, are strong enough to challenge any visiting team despite the absence of two of their best batsmen – Steve Smith and David Warner.”I think it’s pretty even. They’re obviously number one Test team in the world but we play some good cricket at home. So I think it’s very even heading this,” Hazlwood said.”With our bowling attack we’re very confident and based on last year, we had quite a good template there and it worked pretty well (in the Ashes). So we’ll be looking to replicate that and test it against one of the best batting orders in the world.”Rules are pretty clear now: Hazlewood on Australia’s quest for reverse swingAustralia’s quest for reverse swing led to a ball-tampering scandal against South Africa in March this year and this will be the first Test at home for the hosts since that infamous Cape Town Test.Talking about working the ball for reverse swing during the series, Hazlewood said, “It’s pretty common sense. The rules are pretty clear now it’s good to have it in black and white.”This ground and Perth are not ideal for reverse swing so it’s more normal seam and swing. I don’t think it’s going to play a massive part in this game.”Hazlewood also stressed on the importance of off-spinner Nathan Lyon, especially the fact that he can bowl long spells to allow the three pacers enough time to recuperate themselves.”He’s the key for me. With the four of us, you have Pat who bowls shorter spells and sometimes Starc too. So to have Lyon, it even worked well two weeks ago when we played the Shield game.”He pretty much bowled from one end after the new ball and we filtered through from the other end.”He added that the fitness of their three-pronged pace attack, also consisting of Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins, will probably determine the course of this series.(With PTI inputs) Also Read | Scaredy Bats: Australian public bash Aussie media for insulting Team IndiaAlso Read | Fast and furious: Adelaide curator promises green pitch for 1st India-Australia TestAlso Read | Ex-Australia cricketers differ on ways to tackle the Virat Kohli threatAlso See:last_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *