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India ready to play day/night Test anywhere in Australia, asserts Kohli

India ready to play day/night Test anywhere in Australia, asserts Kohli
January 13
16:45 2020

MUMBAI: Months after Tim Paine’s cheeky dig at him, India captain Virat Kohli on Monday asserted that they are ready to play day/night Test at any venue in Australia later this year.
Kohli was asked about it on the eve of the three-match ODI series opener against Australia.

“We’re ready and up for the challenge – whether it’s Gabba, Perth… it doesn’t matter to us. It’s become a very exciting feature of any Test series and we’re open to playing day-night Tests,” Kohli said.

India played their maiden day/night Test against Bangladesh last November, winning the match with plenty of time to spare at the Eden Gardens.

“We played the day-night Test here, we were pretty happy with how it went. We have the skill-sets as a team now to compete against anyone in the world, anywhere, in any format of the game, whether it’s white ball, red ball or pink ball, we’re ready to play anything,” Kohli asserted.

Last year, when asked about it, Paine had sarcastically remarked that his Australian team would need to ask Kohli if he was willing to play day/night Test Down Under.

“We’ll certainly try and we’ll have to run that by Virat (Kohli). We’ll get an answer from him at some stage I’m sure. As I said we’ll ask Virat and see if we can get his permission to play here and maybe even get a Pink-ball Test if he’s in a good mood. Paine had said.

Australian want to play two Tests of the four-match series under lights when India tour next summer. The hosts want to start the series at the Gabba in Brisbane, where they have not lost a Test for a long time.

“India-Australia, it’s not a totally new thing that we’re going to experience (for) either side. The teams know each other so well, we played each other so much, and the competition has always been good. Having won last year, that gives us a lot more confidence going back,” said Kohli.

With David Warner and Steve Smith back, the India skipper acknowledged that the upcoming tour will be a different ballgame and took note of Marnus Labuschagne’s meteoric rise.

“This time around the series is going to be different, in terms of their batting challenging our bowlers. To be fair, last time around, the players were not that experienced.

“If you take out David (Warner) and Steve (Smith), Marnus (Labuschagne) came in but he played only one game. The way he’s shaped up in last summer, it’s amazing – so much consistency it always good to watch at the international level – and the hunger and the passion, you can see in his game,” he added.

Kohli also admitted that it would be a challenge for his bowlers to break through the Australian batting order next summer.

“It’ll be a challenge for us to break through that batting order but it’s a challenge we should look forward to. We should not look forward to easy games and going to Australia, you should not expect anything easy.

“So, as I said, we want to keep challenging ourselves as a team and we’re the top two sides in the table as well, in the world championship.

“I’m sure it’s going to be amazing for people to watch because the series will be right up there with any of the best series we’ve seen in the past five-six years. We’re pretty excited for it,” said Kohli. PTI

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