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India vs Australia: We need to step up as a batting group: Kohli

Virat Kohli urges batsmen to step up
India vs Australia: Bowlers ready to take up challenge in any condition, says Virat Kohli

Adelaide, December 5: India skipper Virat Kohli on Wednesday (December 5) played down the notion that Australia could be vulnerable after all the turbulence of this year and stressed on the need to bat as a group to survive the challenge that will be posed by the home side. Excerpts from Kohli's press conference ahead of the first Test against Australia here on Thursday (December 6).

1. Australia are not vulnerable

1. Australia are not vulnerable

"I personally don't think any Australian side is vulnerable at home. Regardless of whatever happened and gone by, the skill level is still there and you have to respect that. At the end of the day, irrespective of how you talk or behave in a certain manner it's your skill matters and they still have the skill to dominate at home. We have to be at our best to be competitive and get the result that we want here. We are not taking anything for granted. We are going to focus on our skills and we need to do right because ours is a side that is looking to whatever that has not gone right in the last two tours that we'd gone."

2. What the bowlers need to do

2. What the bowlers need to do

I think it is very different from last time we came here. They (bowlers) are much more experienced and fitter than the last time. I think the key in Australia is to bowl at the right areas for a longer time and the conditions too can get hard because it gets hot and the pitches can be flat purely because the Kookabura does not do much after 20-odd overs until it reverses around 45-50, so, the middle phase is very very crucial. We have figured out those things and the guys feel that they are at the peak of their skill and they are looking forward to this challenge. We don't want to be in a situation where we look around for ideal bowling conditions or batting conditions. So, the bowlers are in a mindset where they want to bowl however hard the situation might be and that's what the team wants at the end of the day, going out and gunning for a six-wicket haul and if it takes eight good overs then the guys are ready for it. That mindset is very crucial and that feedback is coming from the bowlers themselves and they have not been told about it.

3. What batsmen need to do

3. What batsmen need to do

"Many of us have played quite a few matches here. It's all about remembering those good things we'd done here. I know England and South Africa were tough and Australia can be a great place to bat if the batsmen can apply themselves. But it takes character and grinding out tough situations. As I said the Australian side has the skillsets and their bowling unit is very strong, so they will challenge us definitely. So we will have to go through that particular phase and capitalise on those sessions that go our way. As batsmen, we are looking at that opportunity purely because we need to step up as a batting group and the bowlers are in great bowling form as we all know. It's just the collective performance that needs to go in our way, it should not be one-odd Test match and that's the challenge we are looking forward to."

4. On losing Hardik Pandya to injury

4. On losing Hardik Pandya to injury

It obviously will have an impact. Every side would like to have a fast bowling all-rounder which we do not have on our side with Hardik injured. So, we need to go in with the best possible combination. The workload on guys who will play when Hardik is not there will be high but that's been something we have already discussed and the guys are looking forward to it, rather than thinking as some sort of burden. So, we have to make it out of the resources that we have right now. Losing Hardik was bit of an issue but I don't see it as a major issue because in Australia you have to bowl really well even if you are an all-rounder.

5. What the team needs to do

5. What the team needs to do

We are not looking to start tentatively. We want to express ourselves and go out there and be positive, not meaning we are going to play rash shots or all over the place with the ball, wanting to bring our A game in the first match and then try to build a foundation for us as the series goes on. We want to ready the pitch and conditions really early and alter our game accordingly, something I think we failed to do in the last two tours. When we did it, we won the match but we need to do it for a longer period to win a series and that's our goal. We don't want to be side that plays exciting Test for one match and we want to be a consistent side and for that we need to be quicker than in the past.

6. On tackling Nathan Lyon

6. On tackling Nathan Lyon

When the last time we played against him here, we had to positive against Lyon. He is such a good bowler in these conditions because he understands the pace of the wicket and the bounce that he is going to get and where the fielder should be and he hits the bat quicker and harder than any other spinner than I have faced in Australia. Look, you need to be at your best against a bowler like Nathan and their bowlers in general. So, we are not going to think too much about anyone or not going to be tentative against anyone and the guys need to find out ways to play different bowlers accordingly as I said we have to adapt quickly, find out how the wicket behave and then score runs.

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    Story first published: Wednesday, December 5, 2018, 10:23 [IST]
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