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Posted at: Dec 4, 2018, 2:07 AM; last updated: Dec 4, 2018, 2:07 AM (IST)

We’ve got plans for him: Josh

Aussie vice-captain says Indian batsmen feed off Kohli

Adelaide, December 3

The Indian batting line-up is the best in the world but can be tamed if talismanic skipper Virat Kohli is kept in check, says Australia vice-captain Josh Hazlewood.

Kohli had scored 692 runs, including four hundreds, during India’s last Test tour of Australia and pacer Hazlewood said India’s captain will again take centrestage when the Test series begins.

“I see the Indian line up as the best in the world, if not right up there, led by Virat and I think they feed a lot off him and how he goes about things,” Hazlewood said. “They’ve played a lot at home since we played them last in Australia. They toured England and South Africa, and it was only Virat who stood out. A lot of the other haven’t scored too many of the runs.”

The fast bowler said his team has plans for Kohli. “I think we’ll obviously have a chat about him before the game starts. We’ll come up with a couple of options. It’s about what conditions suit, with a player of that calibre you need a few options,” Hazlewood said.

Won’t sledge

However, sledging him does not figure in those options. “Virat obviously thrives on that sort of stuff. It gets him going and he probably plays his best cricket when he’s doing that. It’s up to the individual — if it’s a bowler or a fielder. I am usually pretty quiet when I am bowling,” Hazlewood said.

Speaking specifically about the first Test, Hazlewood said early breakthroughs will hold the key. “If we can make some early inroads in this first Test, it’s always crucial and the first innings. If we can get on top of them early, hopefully that will filter through the rest of the Test,” he said.

India have been touted as favourites against Australia in the absence of the banned batting duo of Steve Smith and David Warner but Hazlewood said it would be an even contest.

“I think it’s pretty even. They’re obviously number one Test team in the world but we play some good cricket at home. So I think it’s very even heading this,” he said. “With our bowling attack we’re very confident and based on last year, we had quite a good template there and it worked pretty well (in the Ashes). So we’ll be looking to replicate that and test it against one of the best batting orders in the world.” — Agencies 

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