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Virat Kohli vows to give it back if Aussies are aggressive

Virat Kohli urges the team to take a collective step against Australia during the upcoming tour

Mumbai, November 15: India skipper Virat Kohli said on Thursday (November 15) that his side will not play the instigator's role during the upcoming tour of Australia but added in the same breath that they will not be reluctant to give it back if the Aussies resort to sledging.

Kohli, who had a run-in history with Australian crowd and former skipper Steve Smith, said he has also become a matured individual over the years.

"When it comes to getting engaged in an argument on the field, I have been completely okay playing without an altercation. I have enough belief in my abilities.. those were very immature things I used to feed on when I was younger," Kohli said at India's pre-departure press conference here on Thursday. India will play three T20Is, four Tests and five ODIs during their tour of Australia.

"Now being captain of the team, you do not have time to think of anything else apart from what the team needs.," said Kohli.

Underlining his give-it-back policy, Kohli said: "We were always the ones giving it back. As long as it does not start, we will not go out looking for anything but we will reciprocate.

"I know from the management point of view, things are explained of what the team needs. As long as it does not start, we are okay with it. In our own minds, we have to be competitive and not let our focus drop," he said.

Indian pace bowlers have been outstanding in the last two away series to South Africa and England and Kohli while attesting to their abilities hoped that the batsmen too will step up Down Under. s

"We are always feeling good about the fact that we have a good bowling attack but our batsmen have to step up as well. That is something we spoke about after the England tour. Our focus will be more on how the batsmen bat togther. Our bowlers are in the space and after a long time, we will we can pick 20 wickets in a game," he said.

Kohli, a fitness freak himself, expressed happiness over the improved fitness levels of the team during his tenure as the captain.

"I definitely believe our fitness levels are up: which is the most important thing in Australia because pitches can sometimes become very boring there," said Kohli who went on to exemplify the good work of some of South Africa's pacers Down Under over the years.

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    Story first published: Thursday, November 15, 2018, 17:15 [IST]
    Other articles published on Nov 15, 2018
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