‘Matured’ Kohli ready to feast on Aussies
Australia has been given the chilling warning that Indian maestro Virat Kohli is a more mature player than when he tore them to shreds here four years ago.
Kohli produced one of the greatest batting performances by an overseas player on Australian soil when he scored four centuries in four Tests the last time Australia hosted India in 2014-15.
India coach Ravi Shastri claims Kohli returns to Australia a more rounded player.
"He is a professional, he has matured,'' Shastri said as his side prepared for Wednesday's T20 match against Australia at the Gabba.
"He has played all around the globe since then. He has captained the side which comes with responsibility which has fitted well on his shoulders. He has adjusted really well. He will not take his foot off the gas that's for sure.
"He loves coming to Australia. He is passionate about his game. The pitches here suit his style of play. Once you have done well here you want to come out and play well again.''
South African captain Faf du Plessis said Australia would do well to give Kohli the silent treatment which would seem to dovetail into the sides new behavioural protocols.
But Shastri indicated it may not matter.
"At the end of the day it is the cricket that talks. I don't care if it is a McGrath or a Warne said something or didn't say something. They would have still taken wickets.''
India has had enough of the barbs about being champs at home and chumps on the road as they attempt to crack a 70-year curse in Australia.
Shastri has declared his team will "take no prisoners'' as they strive to win their first series in Australia despite 11 failed attempts spanning back to 1947-48.
"We are taking no prisoners and we want to go out and put our best foot forward and focus on what is happening on our side.
Asked why this series could be different from past struggles, Shastri said.
"(Just) seeing the way they have played over the last four or five years.''
"Also the way they played last time they came to Australia. If you look at the team experience wise they have gained a lot and learnt from the mistakes they have made in some of the earlier tours.''
At home India are nigh invincible with one series loss from their last 15 rubbers but on the road they are far less assured, winning just three of their last 12 series.
But Shastri says its not just India who suffers from the homesick blues.
"When you look at teams that travel now there are no too many who win (away). Australia did it for a while at the turn of the century. South Africa did it for a while. But other than them two if you look at the last five or six years you tell me which teams have travelled well so why pick on India?''