MUMBAI: India captain Virat Kohli said on Thursday he wants a sledge-free tour of Australia but is ready to fight fire with fire on the landmark series.
India leave on Friday for Australia where they have never won a Test series and feel boosted by the one year bans being served by Steve Smith and David Warner.
Kohli is known for his combative tactics but he said India would depend on ability over aggression on the key tour.
“When it comes to getting engaged in an argument on the field, or in a fight as people want to call it excitedly, I have been completely OK playing without an altercation,” Kohli told a press conference ahead of the team’s departure. “I have enough belief in my ability to play without a reason to pump myself up. Those were very immature things that I needed to feed on in early days of my career.”
The Australian dressing room has vowed a culture change since Smith and Warner banned for their involvement in ball tampering in South Africa this year. But no tour of Australia is a gentle experience.
“If they want to play a certain way we will reciprocate in that way, that’s how the game of cricket goes,” Kohli said.
He insisted the team know the importance of ‘remaining competitive’.
India start their tour with the first of three T20s in Brisbane on Nov 21. They will then play four Tests and three ODIs. India have maintained their home supremacy with a thrashing of the West Indies in Tests (2-0), ODIs (3-1) and T20 (3-0).
But away it has been a different story. India lost 2-1 in South Africa and then were outplayed in England 4-1. Kohli insists his side have learned from the defeats however.
“We have spoken as a team after England and everyone is keen to correct those mistakes and put in a complete performance which we want to last for a full series,” said Kohli.
“I thinks it’s Test cricket that we really need to tighten things up and keep moving forward and correcting those mistakes. Because in ODI and T20s we have played really good cricket.”
Published in Dawn, November 16th, 2018