Former Test star Michael Hussey has warned the India-bound Australian cricket team for a four-Test tour not to antagonise Virat Kohli, saying sledging the Indian captain may boomerang on the visitors.
Calling Kohli “a real competitor”, the 41-year-old Hussey, who played 79 Tests before retiring in 2013, said engaging in a verbal spat with the Indian skipper will only fire him up which will benefit the hosts in the matches.
“I wouldn’t try and fire him up. I think he thrives on that and he’s a real competitor. He loves being in the fight and loves the contest out in the middle,” Hussey was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.
“I’d make sure we have some very clear plans and we try and stick to them as best as we possibly can. There’s no need to get involved in that sort of verbal barrage because I think that fires him up even more.”
Hussey has instead asked Steve Smith’s men to back their skills and focus on the game rather than engaging in on-field antics during the tough tour of the subcontinent.
“You don’t want to get carried away with too much talk and lose your concentration of what’s important, which is executing your skills.
“The team that wins will be the one that can execute their skills at the highest quality and for the longest period of time. It’s not going to be the team that’s the most verbal or the most aggressive,” said Hussey, who averaged more on Asian soil than any other Australia batsman to have played five Tests or more in those conditions.
The first of the four-match Test rubber will be played from February 23 in Pune.