Australia v India: How do the hosts stop Virat Kohli?

Australia v India: How do the hosts stop Virat Kohli?

Australia v India: How do the hosts stop Virat Kohli?

Australia's greatest-ever offspinner has dismissed Pujara more times (seven) than any other Test batsman. Head reminded the Indians that Starc, Cummins and Hazlewood were good enough to dethrone Kohli from the perch Indian fans have placed him on.

India have given up on the five-bowler theory for this game, and chosen just four frontline options in Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah and Ravichandran Ashwin as the lone spinner, a decision clearly premised on the surfeit of left-handers in the Australian line-up.

Australia were left with a victory target of 384, but six wickets from Harbhajan Singh steered India to an unlikely 171-run win. Virat at the other end was really aggressive and going after the bowlers, verbally as well.

The follow-on was enforced with India in real danger of going 2-0 down in the series before VVS Laxman (281) and Rahul Dravid (180) knuckled down in a memorable and gritty 376-run stand for the fifth wicket as India made 657 for 7 before declaring. This theory, however, overlooks the fact that India's batsmen have a record of being susceptible to pace themselves. Ajinkya Rahane will have to step up and be the glue in the middle order, like he did wonderfully in the last tour down under.

It is fair to say that India lost the series in South Africa and England because their batting failed to live up to the promise shown by their bowlers.

So, Virat Kohli-led India is to be blamed for the dip in ticket sales ahead of the 1st Test?

Australia, on the other hand, have survived primarily due to their relentless pace attack.

For the 30-year-old Pujara, the looming Test series is a chance to rectify one blot on his impressive cricketing resume. Since 2015, the trio have picked up 77, 68 and 23 wickets at averages of 25.12, 27.36 and 24.65. "Batting at No. 6 meant that invariably the opposition captains would set the field and ball at the tail-enders", he said. But the way we bowled it wasn't about any individual, we all took 20-wickets plus the whole summer. "Whatever batsmen we have, all of them have so much ability that every one of them can single-handedly turn any game", Kohli told reporters on the eve of India's first rubber here.

Cricket Australia took to Twitter to share the pictures of Archie training alongside the team before the start of the first Test.

Living in the shadow of Virat Kohli is no problem for Indian batsman Cheteshwar Pujara. While the ball tampering saga had put the Aussies seamers in bad light, the numbers they've racked up don't owe to maintaining the ball illegally with an external substance alone!

On the first Test, the right-arm quick bowler felt that getting early breakthroughs would be crucial for their success in Adelaide. "We have to make sure we are playing a positive brand of cricket", said Lyon.

Related news