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Won’t sledge Virat Kohli, hints Australia’s David Warner

PTI Mumbai 20 Feb 2017, 13:15:05 PM IST

Known for playing mind games, Australian vice-captain David Warner has indicated that they will not sledge in-form India skipper Virat Kohli in the upcoming four-match Test series beginning February 23. 

"For us, it's about going out there and playing our brand of cricket. Virat Kohli is one of those players, if you niggle at him, it either makes him better or if you get under his skin, he'll probably get even better. He's a world class player at the moment and for us, it's about going out and playing the best cricket we can," Warner said here on Sunday after the end of warm-up game against India A at the Brabourne Stadium. 

"We're not going out there to entertain the idea of sledging or banter. It's out there and playing good cricket and a great brand of cricket and making sure it's in the spirit of the game," Warner added.

Warner said that neither did his own performance in two innings in the warm-up game nor lead spinner Nathan Lyon's outing with the ball disappointed him. 

"I'm not disappointed at all. That's what happens with my game, the way I play I'm either going to go on and cash in. Or I'm going to get out cheaply. That's the way I play," he said after making 25 and 35 in the two innings. 

"I thought he (Lyon) bowled very well. When you've got a player (Shreyas Iyer) who is in on a hundred, it's always hard to contain with short boundaries. You've got to try and tinker a little bit, think a bit more. And out there he did that, he asked a few of the players what their thoughts were," said Warner, adding, "I'm sure that he'll look at a bit of footage and see what he can do to improve from what he bowled out there." 

Lyon was smashed for eight sixes by Shreyas Iyer and lower Krishnappa Gowtham, who made 74 in 68 balls. Warner credited the home team batsmen. 

"That's their mentality, to apply a bit of pressure on our spinners. They did that - credit to them, they played very well," he said.

He said that the area of improvement is in bowling maiden overs. 

"Over here you're going to have to be prepared to bowl maidens and that's one thing we have to try and do," he added.

Warner said that the team had set plans to counter Ravichandran Ashwin, India's number one spin threat. 

"We've got our plans. Everyone's got their plans against Ashwin. He's a very, very good bowler. We understand that. There are other bowlers that we have to be mindful of. So we know that he will play a crucial a role in this, but as I have always said we just have to adapt to the conditions and assess when we're out there. Guys are in a great frame of mind, we're ready to go. We're pumped. And it's been a much-anticipated series so we're really looking forward to getting out there," he added.

India will face Australia in a four-match Test series starting from February 23. While the first Test will be played in Pune from February 23 to 27, remaining three others will be played in Bangalore (March 4-8), Ranchi (March 16-20) and Dharamsala (March 25-29).