Former batsman Michael Hussey warns Steve Smith-led Australia to restrict themselves when it comes to verbal duels with India skipper Virat Kohli during forthcoming Test series
Wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha tries to comfort then India’s stand-in skipper Virat Kohli as he exchanges words with Australia captain Steve Smith during the Adelaide Test in December 2014
India's domination over England across all formats in the recently concluded Test, ODI and T20 series has sent the Australians, who are landing in the sub-continent soon for a four-Test series, into overdrive.
Suggestions and instructions coupled with preparations on how to tackle the Indian spinners, batsmen and conditions are flying thick and fast.
Former Test star Michael Hussey joined the 'advisory' bandwagon. He has warned Steve Smith & Co against engaging in verbal duels with the Indian skipper Virat Kohli.
Umpire Ian Gould calms down Australia's Steve Smith at the Adelaide Oval in December 2014. Pic/Getty Images
“I wouldn't try and fire him up. I think he thrives on that and he's a real competitor. He loves being in a fight and loves the contest out in the middle. I'd make sure we have some very clear plans and we try and stick to them as best as we possibly can.
“There's no need to get involved in that sort of verbal barrage because I think that fires him up even more,” Hussey told cricket.com.au in an interview. The Aussies rubbed Kohli the wrong way when he took over the Indian captaincy after Mahendra Singh Dhoni stepped down after the Boxing Day Test at Melbourne in 2014.
“They were calling me a spoiled brat and I said, 'maybe that's the way I am, and I know you guys hate me'... and it worked in my favour I guess. I like playing against Australia because it's very hard for them to stay calm and I don't mind an argument on the field,” Kohli was quoted as saying.
“From an Australian point of view, Kohli is public enemy No. 1 and we have to get him out cheaply. If he gets in, he'll go big and score big runs. He's very confident at the moment, he knows the conditions so well and generally if he plays well, India win,” Hussey added. Australia face India in the four-Test series, starting in Pune on February 23.
Sydney: Australia’s batsmen should learn how to play spin bowling properly or not bother going to India for this month’s Test series, former England star Kevin Pietersen warned.
“You’ve got to learn to play spin quick,” Pietersen told Cricket Australia’s website cricket.com.au.
“Learn to play spin very quick. If you can’t play spin, don’t even go,” he added.