Steve Waugh has urged Australian players not to get into a verbal duel with Virat Kohli during the four-Test home series as it will end up providing extra motivation to not just him but also his teammates all of whom will look to win their second successive Test series in Australia.
The Border-Gavaskar Trophy will begin with a day-night encounter with pink balls at the Adelaide Oval on December 17, followed by Tests at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) starting December 26, the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) starting January 7 and the Gabba at Brisbane starting January 15. The tour will begin with three ODIs starting on November 27, followed by as many T20 Internationals.
Steve Waugh: Sledging Won’t Worry Virat Kohli Who Will Be Motivated Instead
India had won their maiden Test series of 4 Test matches 2-1 after Cheteshwar Pujara scored 521 runs. At the same time, Jasprit Bumrah took 21 wickets in the absence of then regular skipper Steve Smith and David Warner due to one year ban for ball-tampering. Steve Waugh says that sledging isn’t going to worry Virat Kohli and Indian team.
“Sledging is not going to worry Virat Kohli, it doesn’t work against the great players and you’re better off leaving those guys alone,” Waugh said in a video posted by ‘ESPNcricinfo’.
“I think any extra motivation will make them dig in more and get more runs. So you’re better off not saying much to him.”
Australian captain wicket-keeper Tim Paine and his men were involved in a spat with Virat Kohli during India’s last tour of Australia which ended with the visitors registering their first ever Test series (2-1) win Down Under.
Former skipper Michael Clarke had later claimed that Australia had coaxed Virat Kohli in order to land fat deals with IPL franchises, something which was rejected by Tim Paine.
Steve Waugh: Virat Kohli Is A World Class Player And Has Matured And Has Taken India To New Levels
Steve Smith was serving a ball-tampering ban for 1 year the last time India toured Australia in 2018-19 along with David Warner. Steve Waugh believes Indian skipper Virat Kohli would want to outdo the former skipper this time.
During Australia’s tour of India in 2016-17, which was the last time Test series were played by the two teams in India, Steve Smith had posted three hundreds notching up 499 runs in the four-Test series which the visitors lost 1-2.
“He (Kohli) is a world class player, he would wanna be the batsman of the series. Last time, he and Smith came up against each other in India, Smith really dominated with three hundreds and Kohli didn’t get many.
“That would be at the back of his mind that last time he was outscored by Steve Smith.
“So, he will want to score lot of runs and if he does, India will have a great chance of winning,” Steve Waugh stated.
Steve Waugh feels Virat Kohli is now much more in control as a player and would be keen to lead the team to a series win abroad and continue their winning form in Australia.
“He has definitely matured, he was always excitable on the field, may be a little not in control. But now he is totally in control and he has got the team playing in his mode…
“He wants India to prove themselves away from home to justify the number one ranking. He has taken them to a level that may be they didn’t get to before,” Steve Waugh signed off.
Virat Kohli had overtaken Sourav Ganguly and MS Dhoni by becoming India’s most successful Test skipper with 33 wins in 54 Tests with 11 matches being lost while 10 were drawn.