Australia captain Tim Paine has said that they “got great plans” up their sleeves for Virat Kohli for the first Test against India, beginning on Thursday at the Adelaide Oval.
“Everyone has got great plans against the best players…that is why they are best players because they can adapt. They can change what you are doing and Virat is certainly one of the best if not the best in the world. There are going to times when they do get away against you – there is just one Test hopefully he doesn’t – but we have plans against him that have worked against him and hopefully they work against him. But if not then we have a couple of different plans,” said Paine while speaking to reporters on Wednesday.
The Australian Test team skipper was also seen heaping praises on his team’s attack and said that the Australian bowlers were good enough to trouble Kohli during his stay at the middle.
“And again, the great thing with our attack is that they are all different. We have also got Nathan Lyon and throw in Greeny (Cameron Green) we have got different angles, different speeds, and also Mars (Marnus Labuschagne who bowls leg-spin) we have lots of different options to throw at him if he wants to get in and settle,” Paine said.
About aggression, the 36-year-old also said that while they are not going to be overly expressive, they would be ready to give it back to the Indians if a need arises for it.
“Yes in terms of what goes on the field, we will have to wait and see. Certainly, we don’t go into planning to have run-ins or be overly aggressive or anything like that. We just go out there to execute our plans firstly with bat and ball, and at times things at the field can be… if that is the case, no doubt that this team won’t be taking a backward step,” said Kohli.
Paine said they will focus on vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane as he can hold the team together. Rahane will lead India when Kohli leaves for India to attend the birth of his child.
“When he (Kohli) leaves, we know the talent they have got all the way down their list. (Cheteshwar) Pujara obviously troubled us a lot last year so obviously he will be a big key to us but we know the talent. Rishabh (Pant) came in the last week’s A game (warm-up tie) and made a quick hundred. So they have got guys around that can take away the Test match from you away quickly but we got to be really across all of them. But clearly, yeah, Rahane held the team together, he was the glue last series. He is a huge focus for us,” added Paine.
The Virat Kohli-led team will begin their title defence of the Border-Gavaskar trophy with the pink-ball Test in Adelaide from December 17.
The first Test at Adelaide will be India’s first day-nigt Test outside home soil. It will also be skipper Virat Kohli’s only appearance in all-whites in Australia this time as he would return to India on a paternity leave after the opener.
The day-night Test will be followed by Tests at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (December 26), the Sydney Cricket Ground (January 7) and the Gabba (January 15).