Virat Kohli continued to promote his new ‘non-confrontation’ policy but clarified that in the face of aggression, his team would not back down. Speaking at the pre-match press conference, the Indian captain said that his team will not start anything but if the “line is crossed we stand up to that”. India begin their long tour of Australia with the first of the three-match Twenty20 International (T20I) series on Wednesday being played at The Gabba in Brisbane. Before leaving for the Australia tour, Virat Kohli and head coach Ravi Shastri held a press conference where the former said that he will be happy to play a series Down Under without any on and off-field drama.
On Tuesday, Kohli spoke in length about aggression on the field and what it means to him.
“Aggression depends on how the situation is on field. If the opposition is aggressive towards you then you counter it. India is not a team that starts anything but we always draw a line of self-respect. If that line is crossed we stand up to that,” Kohli said.
“Aggression also means that within team how possessive you are to that situation and as a team how much effort you are putting in for each wicket. You can see that in body language, when bowlers bowl and how long they can keep hitting the same area. Batsmen can be aggressive without saying anything.”
Australian pacer Pat Cummins on Sunday had refused to buy Kohli’s self-appraisal that he is no longer the one looking for confrontations.
“For me aggression is playing to win and an obsession that I should win every ball for my team. Everyone has a different meaning but for me it means to win the game at any costs and give 120 per cent for my team, whether I am fielding or even clapping for someone while sitting on the bench, or batting, or running between wickets,” Kohli added.
Ahead of a long summer of cricket, India will start as favourites against a weakened Australian side that is missing Steve Smith and David Warner desperately. An appeal to reduce their bans was turned down by Cricket Australia on Tuesday morning.
Kohli said that he expected Australia to challenge on their home soil nevertheless.
“We all saw what happened. I don’t know exactly what happened before those decisions were taken, but someone in Cricket Australia did make those decisions and honestly it is not my place to comment on it.
“Missing out on two of their best batsmen is not an ideal thing for any team. There is no denying the quality they have in their sides and still have world-class cricketers.
“This Australian team still has the quality to make an impact despite missing their two best batsmen. We will have to be at our best to beat Australia in Australia,” he said.
(With PTI Inputs)