Virat Kohli and head coach Ravi Shastri held a press conference before Team India’s departure for the impending tour of Australia that starts November 21. The Indian skipper said that he will be happy to play a series Down Under without any on and off-field drama. “When it comes to getting engaged in an argument, or a fight, as people like to call it excitedly, I have been completely okay with playing without an altercation. At a personal level, I don’t need to find these things anymore. I have enough belief in my abilities that I can play without a reason to pump myself up,” Kohli said at the press conference. “We were always the ones giving it back. We were never the ones starting anything. So as long as it doesn’t start, we don’t have a problem in focussing on our game and just doing what we need to do,” he added.
After reading the statement, former Australia pacer Mitchell Johnson took a cheeky dig at Kohli’s hopes of having a sledge-free summer in Australia. “I look forward to no Virat send offs,” Johnson tweeted.
I look forward to no Virat send offs
— Mitchell Johnson (@MitchJohnson398) November 15, 2018
During India’s last tour of Australia in 2014, Johnson had aimed the stumps, but the ball hit Kohli, who was standing at the striker’s end thus triggering a few verbal exchanges during the Test match at MCG.
In the last few years, the India-Australia rivalry has grown leaps and bounds. The 2017 Test series between the two nations was contested aggressively and was in news for many reasons beyond cricket.
However, since that eventful series in India, the dynamics of Australian cricket have changed.
Kohli is ready to lead his troops for a full series Down Under and it is believed that in the absence of Steve Smith and David Warner, this is India’s best chance to win a Test series in Australia.
India’s tour of Australia starts November 21 with a three-match Twenty20 International (T20I) series. The two teams will then face-off in a four-match Test series before playing a three-match one-day international (ODI) series in January.