India captain Virat Kohli says his side will emulate Australia’s aggression, suggesting the mental battle could help decide the upcoming four-Test series.
India landed in Adelaide on Saturday night, trained on Sunday and face a Cricket Australia developmental XI on Monday and Tuesday.
They start another two-day tour game in Adelaide on Friday before travelling to Brisbane to prepare for the first Test that starts the following Thursday.
That’s limited match practice for the visitors to become accustomed to local conditions.
But Kohli, stand-in skipper in the absence of MS Dhoni, backed his players to be ready and said mindset would be the focus of India’s 18-man squad over the next week.
“Pace and bounce is something you can get used to. But unless you’re mentally there, there’s no point of any sort of practice,” Kohli said on Sunday.
“They are good enough to tackle any sort of bowling in any conditions.”
Mitchell Johnson is an obvious potential source of mental demons for the visitors, having terrorised England a year ago and missed India’s most recent Australian tour due to injury.
“The guys in our team have the ability to do it … I don’t see any reason why we can’t put up a good fight,” Kohli said of facing the fearsome Australian left-armer.
Kohli was one of few Indians to stand up in 2011-12, when Australia stormed to a 4-0 series win.
His maiden Test century came in Adelaide, where the voracious opposition and the crowd were both vocal.
The 26-year-old was fined for giving the finger to fans at the SCG in response to jibes on his only tour of Australia, when he also hit out at the hosts’ sledging.
“I’m certainly expecting it again,” Kohli said with a smile.
“I loved it. Once you perform in those conditions, the people love you here and they love a good fight.
“We’re here to play aggressive cricket, play the brand of cricket that Australia plays.
“There’s going to be more aggression this time around (from India).”
Adelaide’s Glenelg Oval will be the visitors’ first chance to show as much.
Kohli said the whole squad would be available for the tour game starting on Monday apart from Dhoni.
“Everyone’s fit and doing fine,” he said.
“We’re going to try a few more than 11 (in the tour game), that’s the plan.”