‘Radical’ mistakes in England have made India more prepared for Tests: Virat Kohli
This is Virat Kohli's third Test tour of Australia. @Getty

Sitting in front of reporters at the Gabba on Tuesday a day before India begin their tour of Australia with the first T20I, Virat Kohli  was asked how he viewed the four Test matches that follow in December – a clear sign that these three T20Is are being widely viewed as a tiny appetiser before the main course.

Kohli’s Indian team is ranked No 1 in the ICC Test Championship, but this year lost series in South Africa 1-2 and in England 1-4. No Indian team has won a Test series in Australia, and there are many former Indian and Australian cricketers who believe that the upcoming series between is the best chance that to win a Test series on Australian soil.

Australia’s batting has been a cause of concern since the tour of South Africa in March-April, in which Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft were suspended for their roles in the ball-tampering scandal. They lost all five ODIs in England, were beaten 0-1 by Pakistan in the UAE followed by 0-3 in the T20Is, and last week South Africa beat Australia 2-1 in an ODI series. The loss in the first ODI was an unprecedented seventh in a row in the format and defeat in the decider was Australia’s 18th in 21 games.

The first Test between India and Australia is on December 6, and Kohli has his sights firmly fixed on starting well. In his view, he and his team had learnt from the “radical” mistakes made in England and believed they can win in Australia.

“Whatever series we play, our aim is to win that series. We don’t want to be a team that wins one-odd Test match here and there,” said Kohli. “We’ve figured out our mistakes in England, which as I’ve mentioned before were very radical. The quality of cricket was very high but our mistakes were as radical which is why we lost the games. The game that we committed lesser mistakes in, we won that one. We were at par with the other team. We have the ability to keep competing with the other team, at par, and in Test cricket whichever team makes less mistakes wins the game. We’re focusing on cutting down our mistakes. If a situation goes bad for us, how to plug that situation as soon as possible, and find an outcome from that situation.”

Virat Kohli believes India have prepared well after the mistakes in England
Virat Kohli believes India have prepared well after the mistakes in England. @AFP

This is Kohli’s third Test tour to Australia, having been their top run-getter in 2011-12 when in his first year of Test cricket (he made 300 runs in four Tests) and then putting up a record 692 runs at 86.50, with four centuries, in 2014-15.

On that last tour he led in the first Test when MS Dhoni was injured and then in the fourth after Dhoni retired from Tests. Since then, India have reached the pinnacle of No 1 in Tests and Kohli has matured plentiful as a batsman, with runs across the globe. From a team perspective, the batting has fallen drastically away from home the but the bowling has gained, with South Africa bowled out in each of the three Tests in January and England losing all 10 wickets on seven of nine occasions this summer.

“Obviously Australia is always a big tour for any Indian side that comes here. We played good cricket the last time but we weren’t able to win games, so this time around we definitely want to change that,” said Kohli. “We definitely believe we have the quality to do so but it’ll boil down to how we think in each moment in every Test match that we play. Our limited-overs form has been good and we want to just continue that as a whole throughout the tour. We want to do the little things right and have our focus really precise so that we can win more situations than the opposition.”