Adelaide Test: Virat Kohli and troops have more ammo to show

Updated: 06 December, 2018 09:43 IST | Gaurav Joshi | Adelaide

Apart from his individual milestones at the Adelaide Oval, it was here in 2014 where Virat's troops chose to play an attacking brand of cricket

India skipper Virat Kohli on the eve of the opening Test match against Australia at the Adelaide Oval yesterday. Pic/Getty Images
India skipper Virat Kohli on the eve of the opening Test match against Australia at the Adelaide Oval yesterday. Pic/Getty Images

After a quiet start to the Australian summer of cricket, there is suddenly a buzz about the upcoming Test series against India. Virat Kohli has appeared on more newsreels than the prime minister of Australia. Photos of the Indian players' WAGs are in the local newspapers and Indian fans outnumbered the Australians in the three T20Is. Adelaide was the start of a remarkable journey for Kohli and his troops.

It was at this ground that Kohli scored his maiden Test hundred; captained India in a Test for the first time and also achieved batting nirvana by scoring hundreds in both innings. But rather than individual milestones, it was here that Kohli started a journey with a set of players that had believed in the brand of cricket that he wanted India to play. Four years on, India are a dominant team at home but still failed to win in England and South Africa. One of the reasons for the poor outings is the starts and Kohli for a change, admitted to failure brazenly in the press conference.

"We don't wait to figure out what the condition of the pitch is going to be, we got to read it really early and alter our game accordingly which I think we failed to do on the last tours [South Africa and England]," the Indian skipper said on the eve of the opening Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. After the final training session here yesterday, it seemed Hanuma Vihari will pip Rohit Sharma for the No. 6 spot.

The pitch at the Adelaide Oval has a brown tinge to it and while there might be a bit of grass that has been rolled into the surface, the warm weather that is forecast for the Test match is sure to play a pivotal role. It is unlikely the pitch will crack, but footmarks will become prominent and Nathan Lyon is shaping up as a major obstacle for India. The Australian off-spinner has taken 37 wickets at 26.13 with two five-wicket hauls at the Adelaide Oval.

The fact that Australia have opted to play six frontline batsmen indicates that the home team is still insecure about their batting. Marcus Harris will debut and Peter Handscomb will bat at No. 5. However, can the Australian batsmen score enough runs to put India under pressure? If they can, they will spoil Kohli's return to Adelaide and ensure the Australian team get back the headlines.

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First Published: 06 December, 2018 08:41 IST

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