Australia’s lead pacer Josh Hazlewood says that Indian captain Virat Kohli likes to get into a tussle and it gets the best out of him. Kohli is known to get himself pumped and he loves the challenge of performing when there is a verbal battle going on. Subsequently, Australian players like Matthew Wade and David Warner have already stated that they will not be sledging Kohli and Co.
Hazlewood stated that it is better not to say a word to Kohli especially he is batting as it can get him more pumped. In fact, it was seen that Kohli was at his absolute best when he had taken on Mitchell Johnson on the 2014 tour. Ergo, Hazlewood has also admitted that the Australian team will not try to get into a verbal contest with Virat Kohli.
“I think we try to probably stay clear of engagement, obviously,” Hazlewood said on the Cricket Connected Show on Star Sports.
“I think that was fully evident throughout the series. I think he likes to get in that tussle and it probably brings out the best in him, especially when he’s batting, that was always a no-go-zone for the bowlers.”
Hazlewood who is known for his accurate line and length, added that if Kohli is on the field then the players can try to work him out. However, it is not a prudent decision to try to get into the skin of the Indian captain when he is batting out in the middle.
“I think it’s a different case if the guys are batting and he’s in the field, you know they can get him engaged there and sort of work him out a little bit if possible, but certainly when he was batting, it was just leaving him to his own devices, and hopefully, we get him in a bit of a switched off mood and take advantage of that,” Hazlewood explained.
Josh Hazlewood was not at his best in the previous series against India. The lanky pacer had scalped 13 wickets in four matches at an average of 30.62. Consequently, Hazlewood would like to deliver a better performance when India will tour later in the year.
Australia and India will play the first Test of the much-awaited series at the Gabba, Brisbane from December 3. The second Test which will be the first pink ball Test between the two countries, which will be played at Adelaide Oval from December 11.
The Boxing day Test will be hosted by MCG from December 26. However, there are doubts over the venue as Melbourne has recorded a spike in the number of Covid-19 cases in the recent past. The final and fourth Test of the series will be played at the MCG from January 3.