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

An India versus Australia series Down Under has seen many heated battles in the past and India captain Virat Kohli in particular has been notorious for having such verbal duels with the Aussies. This year, things have changed. Ever since the ball-tampering scandal that led to the suspensions of Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft, Australian cricket has fallen to deplorable levels and has gained the sympathy of the cricket fraternity.

South Africa captain Faf du Plessis had categorically stated that his team will not engage in sledging the Australians over the ball-tampering incident during the Cape Town Test in March this year, ahead of the ODI series which the Proteas won.

Kohli, however, said that his team will not begin a sledging war, but won’t think twice to fight back if Australia start a war when the marquee series Down Under begins with the first T20 International on November 21 at the Gabba in Brisbane.

“When it comes to getting engaged in an argument on the field or you are in a fight, as people want to call it excitedly, I’ve been completely okay with playing without an altercation,” Kohli said at the pre-departure press conference at Mumbai on Thursday.

“I am very happy within my own space, so on a personal level, I don’t find the need to go and find these things anymore. I have enough belief in my abilities that I can play without a reason to pump myself up. Those were very immature things I used to feed on in my early days of my career so that I can get pumped up and then I don’t necessarily feel all that pressure.”

“Now, being captain of the team, you literally have no room for anything else, but to think of what the team wants all the time. So, you don’t find the need for all these things at all. They will not give it back, we were always the ones giving it back, we were never the ones starting anything. So, as long as it doesn’t start, we have no problem in just focussing on our game and just doing what we need to do.

“We don’t necessarily have to go and look out for something. If they want to play a certain way, we will reciprocate in that way. That’s how the game of cricket goes, but at the same time, in our own minds, we have to keep it competitive and not let our energies drop. That will be our main focus,” he added.

The Indian team will depart for Australia on Friday where they will play three T20Is, four Tests and the three one-dayers. The four-Test series begins with the first Test on December 6 at Adelaide.