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Kohli promises ‘line won’t be crossed’ but don’t want contest to be mundane

Thursday, December 06, 2018

Adelaide: Virat Kohli is confident that "lines won't be crossed" by either India or Australia as far as on-field behaviour is concerned but at the same time doesn't want players to just show up without emotion.

"I don't see stuff happening, which has happened in the past where both teams have crossed the line. But still it's a competitive sport at the end of the day and it's international cricket. We don't expect guys to just come, bowl and walk back," Kohli's statement made it clear that he would like the contest to have its share of spice.

The Indian skipper hinted that there could be a bit of verbal banter without violating the 'Code of Conduct' which had happened in some of the earlier series. "Obviously, there are going to be times when you have to put the batsmen under pressure. Not necessarily crossing the line, but just get into their heads which you expect from any side in the world, not just Australia. It's going to be there, but it's not going to happen at the level, which has happened in the past, where both teams have lost control," Kohli elaborated.

Cricket Australia has done a 'Cultural Review' post ball tampering scandal and the Australian teams of late have been trying to put up their best behaviour.

But when asked if Australian team would be in a negative frame of mind, he replied in negative. "I don't think, personally, any team should be totally negative after something like that happens (ball-tampering fallout).

"But the competitiveness will be there because you eventually want to get the guys out. If the situation is going your way, and you understand against the important guy in the opposition, you will go hard at that person. Be it your body language or putting in a word or two."

But he also explained that with high quality players in both line-up, one doesn't need to go that extra mile to get into opposition's skin when pure cricketing ability can take care of it. "But I don't see anything radical happening because the skill-set is high and we necessarily wouldn't need to get into anything but at times when situations are difficult you do find ways to upset the rhythm. I think a bit of banter there, it is not harmful at all.

"You definitely can't take any side for granted and more so Australia in Australia because regardless of what happened, skill level is still there. So you have to respect that. At the end of the day, however you talk or behave in a certain manner, it's your skill level that comes (into play)," he signed off.

Gaining respect of country as important as winning for Oz skipper Paine
Adelaide:
Gaining the respect of his country is as big a priority as taming India for Australian skipper Tim Paine, who Wednesday said that winning matches and winning hearts are not mutually exclusive tasks for him.

Setting the tone for the four-match Test series that gets underway on Thursday, Paine said the Australian team, still recovering from the furore of the ball-tampering scandal, has identified the areas that needed some changes.

"Both (winning matches and hearts). That's what we are here for, we play Test cricket to win, there is no doubt about that and clearly we've realised we needed to do some work in some areas. Gaining the respect of our country is as high a priority as is winning," said the wicketkeeper-batsman in the pre-match press conference here on Wednesday.

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