Don’t let Kohli be a bully, says Ponting
Adelaide, December 3
Virat Kohli can be “rattled” and Australia should try to get under his skin rather than sitting back and be bullied by the Indian captain, said former skipper Ricky Ponting.
India will take on Australia in the four-Test series beginning here on Thursday, and former batsman Dean Jones has advised the Australian team against provoking Kohli.
The India skipper has mellowed since the previous tour Down Under but when asked if Kohli would be baiting Australia on the field, Ponting said: “Well, he might. I don’t necessarily believe that he is someone you shouldn’t try to get under his skin. I have seen him rattled.”
“Mitchell Johnson definitely rattled him a few times with some good hostile bowling and some good hostile body language around him. So, I would not sit back and let anyone bully,” Ponting told the Cricket Australia website. “The way we go about playing cricket, especially at home, it is about good strong body language. That is the way Australians have always played their best,” Ponting added.
Ponting, who played 168 Tests for Australia and was on the winning side in 108 of them, dominated world cricket, said it would be “rubbish” if the current side doesn’t play with an aggressive mindset.
“Yes, Australian teams of the past have always had few words to say but it was always on the back of some good hostile bowling, you can’t do without it. It is rubbish otherwise,” Ponting said. “You have to able to impose yourself on the game in a way other than using your mouth. You got to use your actions and skills.” When India last toured Australia for a Test series four years, ago, India lost the four-Test series 0-2 but Kohli amassed 692 runs at an average of 86.25, including four centuries. Ponting said that had he been the team captain, he wouldn’t have allowed Kohli to get a good start. “With someone like him who likes to score freely, he has obviously got a big ego, there are other things you can do. Don’t let him score boundaries early on. Try and ball tight consistent stuff,” he said. “He also likes to run the ball down to third man so maybe play around with guys behind the wicket in different areas, just get inside his head as to what we are trying to do.”
“Another thing I will be doing is going back and looking at who has had the most success against him and why. The first one that comes to mind is James Anderson,” added Ponting.