India captain Kohli anticipating Australian mind games

Although he does not expect anything "radical", India's Virat Kohli is still braced for some Australian sledging in the upcoming Tests.

Virat Kohli expects Australia to try and mentally unsettle the touring India side in their Test series, but does not believe the sledging will reach previous levels.

The first of four five-day contests between the two begins in Adelaide on Thursday, with Kohli and his men hoping to become the first Indian team to ever win a Test series Down Under.

Australia's on-field behaviour has been under the microscope recently following the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa in March, which came 12 months after Kohli fumed at then-captain Steve Smith's use of DRS in a heated series with India.

Ricky Ponting, one of Smith's predecessors, has suggested Kohli can be "rattled" and the India skipper still anticipates Australia displaying an aggressive streak.

"I don't see stuff happening that has happened in the past where both teams have crossed the line but still it's a competitive sport at the end of the day," Kohli told reporters.

"It's international cricket. We do not expect guys to just come in and bowl and just walk back.

 

"There are going to be times when you have to put batsmen under pressure, not necessarily crossing the line but just getting into their heads, which you expect from any side in the world, not just Australia.

"It is going to be there but it is not going to be at the level of the past where both teams have lost control.

"The competitiveness will be there because you eventually want to get guys out if the situation is not going your way and you understand you are up against an important guy in the opposition.

"You will go hard at that person, be it in your body language or just putting in a word or two, but I don't see anything radical happening because the skill set is high so we would not need to get into anything.

"But there are times when situations are difficult, you don't find ways to upset a batsman's rhythm. I think a bit of banter there is not harmful at all."

While Australia have already named their XI for the first Test, India will wait until the day of the game to select their team.

 

 

India squad: KL Rahul, Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma.