Australia are considering pushing a high-risk, high-reward plan against India's unstoppable Virat Kohli, expecting the rest of the line-up to be vulnerable in foreign conditions without their captain leading them. Arguably the best batsdman in noder-era cricket, Kohli seems to come as a central obstruction for the Aussies to reclaim the Border-Gavaskar trophy that India had taken home last year. Australian cricket legend Ricky Ponting revealed his team's plan to take down Kohli in the upcoming tournament that starts on December 6.
“The first thing I'd be doing is going back and looking at how anyone has stopped him in the past. Who has had the most success against Virat Kohli and why? The first one that comes to mind is someone like a James Anderson, who's probably had the most success against him. From what I've watched over the years, he seems to trouble him the most,” Ponting said. He added. “You can put a few fielders out (on the boundary) early on, don't let him get any boundaries. Maybe don't go as aggressive at him early on. Try to bowl lots of tight, consistent stuff. He likes to run the ball down to third man a lot as well, so maybe just play around with some guys in different areas which might just get inside his head as to what we're trying to do.”
“Bring your third (slip) or your floating slip up a little tighter because he tends to play with soft hands and run the ball down there. Just so he's got to think about it and show that we're ready and prepared for what he can do. I think there's little things that might just get inside his mind.” Ponting also warned his team to not get under Kohli's skin saying it could backfire. “I don't necessarily believe that you shouldn't try to get under his skin. Mitchell Johnson definitely rattled him a few times with some good, hostile bowling and some good, hostile body language around him.”
“You have to be able to impose yourself on the game in a way other than using your mouth. You've got to use your actions and your skills and if they do that, then they can definitely unsettle him.”
Mirroring the sentiments, Australian vice-captain and pacer Josh Hazlewood believes that while Indian batting line-up is the best in the world, it is certainly not untameable if Kohli is kept in check. “I see the Indian line up as the best in the world, if not right up there, led by Virat and I think they feed a lot off him and how he goes about things. They've played a lot at home since we played them last in Australia. They toured England and South Africa, and it was only Virat who stood out. A lot of the other haven't scored too many of the runs,” Hazlewood said. The bowler said his team has been making plans for Kohli and a few “options” will be in place. “I think we’ll obviously have a chat about him before the game starts. We’ll come up with a couple of options. It’s about what conditions suit, with a player of that caliber you need a few options.”
Sledging is however, not an option according to him. “Virat obviously thrives on that sort of stuff. It gets him going and he probably plays his best cricket when he's doing that. It's up to the individual- if it's a bowler or a fielder. I am usually pretty quiet when I am bowling.”