Sydney: Former Australian batsman Michael Hussey has advised Australia’s players to avoid sledging India’s captain Virat Kohli during the upcoming Test series.
Kohli has been in dominant form since taking over as Test team captain from MS Dhoni who took the shocking decision of stepping down after the Boxing Day Test at Melbourne in 2014.
And it was then that the Aussies targeted Kohli who gave it back to those with whom he had sparred during his innings of 169.
Earlier in that series, Kohli had clashed with Steve Smith, who is now his rival skipper, and paid the price with a fine of 30 per cent of his match fee. The pair were at it again during last summer’s T20 series, when Kohli gave the Australian skipper a send-off when he was dismissed after the latter was a temporary on-field commentator, a gesture that Smith was not very pleased with.
But Hussey, who has the best average of any Australian batsman to have played five Tests or more in Asia, has urged Smith and his team not to risk riling Kohli during the four-match tour of India later this month.
"I wouldn't try and fire him up," Hussey told cricket.com.au recently. "I think he thrives on that and he's a real competitor. He loves being in the fight and loves the contest out in the middle. I'd make sure we have some very clear plans and we try and stick to them as best as we possibly can.”
"There's no need to get involved in that sort of verbal barrage because I think that fires him up even more. You don't want to get carried away with too much talk and lose your concentration of what's important, which is executing your skills," added Hussey.
Kohli, who is yet to lose a series as India's full time skipper, will be eager to stretch his stupendous record during the four-match Test series.
"The team that wins will be the one that can execute their skills at the highest quality and for the longest period of time. "It's not going to be the team that's the most verbal or the most aggressive," concluded Hussey as he talked about what kind of cricket will be required to win the Test series.