India captain Virat Kohli. @ AFP
India captain Virat Kohli. @ AFP

After decimating the West Indies in the Twenty20 Internationals 3-0 and the preceding ODI and Test series 3-1 and 2-0 respectively, India, led by Virat Kohli back at the helm, will depart for their marquee series against Australia where they will play three T20Is, four Tests and three ODIs beginning with the first T20I on November 21 at the Gabba in Brisbane. The Test series begins on December 6 with the first Test at Adelaide.

India were humiliated 1-4 on the tour of England earlier this year. Kohli emerged as the highest run-scorer from both sides in the five Tests with 593 runs an average of above 59. That was the only bright spot in the batting department which was a complete failure. KL Rahul was the next best batsmen with 299 runs, while Cheteshwar Pujara had the next best average at 39.71.

For their upcoming tour of Australia, Kohli on Thursday said that the batsmen have to step up if the team want to become the first Asian side to win a Test series Down Under.

“We are all feeling good about the fact that we have a great bowling attack but the batsmen need to step up as well, which we have spoken as a team after the England tour. And everyone’s really keen to correct those things and put in a complete performance,” Kohli said at a pre-departure press conference in Mumbai.

“We put in a complete performance for a game in England [third Test at Nottingham] but we want that to last for a series, which is why people have to take more ownership in every Test match that we play. And our focus more will be on how the batsmen bat well together on this tour,” he said.

Indian bowlers were on top of their mark in England with pacer Ishant Sharma returning as the second-highest wicket-taker with 18 scalps. “The bowlers are in a great space and they know exactly what they have to do. After a long time, we feel like we can pick up 20 wickets in every Test match. Which is a great feeling to have but the whole combination has to come together for us to win a series and not just one Test match and feel happy about it,” Kohli said.

Kohli also reckons that the current team is much fitter as compared to the side that last toured Australia in 2014-15.

“From the last time we went there, the fitness levels are way up. Which I think is the most important factor in Australia because the pitches there can get boring sometimes, he said.

“The Kookaburra ball doesn’t move so much there. It’s about patience and it’s about maintaining that pace which you start your day with and maintaining that same pace throughout the day.