Sydney: Australia have enough firepower in their pace attack to “trouble” India’s talismanic captain Virat Kohli, believes skipper Tim Paine, who urged his seamers to not get too “emotional” during the four-Test series starting at Adelaide on December 6.
“I think our fast bowling attack if they play purely on skill, they’re going to trouble him,” Paine told cricket.com.au.
“At times when we get too emotional, we can lose our way a little bit. So it’s a really fine line. “There’s going to be times when they’re going to get a bit fiery, I’m sure. But we need to be mindful of keeping ourselves calm enough so we can execute our skills as well,” he added.
There has been a lot of talk about changing the team culture of the Australian team following the year-long ball-tampering bans on Steve Smith and David Warner. Coach Justin Langer has also stressed on the importance of not only being competitive on field but also be elite in values.
A usually combative Kohli, who has toured Australia two times previously, has made it clear that he will not be the one to start any on-field confrontation with the Australians during the series.
Paine said his team will not shy away from having a go at Kohli if there is a need but they will pick their moments carefully.
“He’s certainly someone who, from what I’ve seen, enjoys getting into that sort of stuff,” Paine said of Kohli.
“We’ll just play it by ear; if there’s a time when we think we need to have a word with him, I’m sure we will. If there’s other times when we feel like we’re bowling well against him and are troubling him, then you don’t have to do it.
“It’s just about picking your time and picking your moment and doing what the team requires,” he added.
Paine said a one-on-one contest with Kohli is okay as long as it doesn’t go over the top. “I think it’s important that guys play the way that suits them. If you’re someone who likes to get into a contest one-on-one with someone like Virat, then go for your life,” he said.
“But I don’t think it needs to be over the top and I don’t think guys who aren’t normally like that need to start doing it.