Virat Kohli, the Indian cricket team skipper, is currently in the form of his life. The right-hander is also known for his aggression and he does not hesitate to give it back against any opponent who has sledged him. The upcoming tour of Australia gives Kohli a chance to create history against his favourite opponents.
However, South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis has offered some tips to the Australian team who are currently struggling ahead of the tour. Du Plessis said that for Australia to compete, they must give Kohli the ‘silent treatment’. “There are guys like that in international cricket (who enjoy the confrontation). We feel like that when we play against someone like Virat Kohli, he wants to get into the fight. There are one or two guys in each team around the world that we as a team discuss before playing against them. We're like, 'better not say too much to him because you'll get him going',” du Plessis said.
Toned down sledging
Following the fall-out of the ball-tampering scandal in Cape Town which saw the likes of Steve Smith and David Warner banned for a year by Cricket Australia, there were calls that the culture within the side had to change, particularly the sledging. Tim Paine, who took over as the captain, has promised to tone down sledging as the team tries to rebuild their image among the public.
“No, I don't think it will, not a lot. I think there's always a time and a place to talk to your opposition, but I think what's said and how it's said will be very different going forward,” Paine said.
However, speaking in the press conference before the team’s departure to Australia, Kohli said India only gave it back once they were provoked. “When it comes to getting engaged in an argument on the field, I have been completely okay playing without an altercation. I have enough belief in my abilities. Those were very immature things I used to feed on when I was younger. We were always the ones giving it back. As long as it does not start, we will not go out looking for anything, but we will reciprocate,” Kohli said.
Du Plessis said the silent treatment worked alright for South Africa in the series against India but Kohli still emerged as the leading run-getter. “We gave him the silent treatment and he still scored runs in South Africa, but we felt like it was not huge runs? he scored the one hundred there in Centurion when the wicket was slow,” du Plessis said.
The Indian skipper has been in magnificent form in both the South Africa and England tours this year. Against the Proteas, he scored 286 runs at an average of 47 while he finally broke the jinx in England and got the better of James Anderson, his chief tormentor, by smashing 593 runs at an average of close to 60.
In India’s last tour of Australia, Kohli was in sublime touch, scoring 692 runs at an average of 86 with four centuries, including tons in both innings in the Adelaide Test. Although India lost the Border-Gavaskar trophy 0-2 in 2014/15, India would be aiming to extract revenge by winning a Test series Down Under for the first time.