Adelaide [Australia], December 16 (ANI): Skipper Virat Kohli on Wednesday said that his personality is a representation of new India where everyone wants to take up challenges and emerge triumphant.
The first Test of the four-match series between Australia and India, beginning on December 17, will be played at the Adelaide Oval and will be a day-night contest. Australia has the best record in day-night Tests as the side has not lost a single match that has been played with the pink ball. And how Kohli leads the boys in the opening game will play a key role in the fate of the series.
"Well, look firstly, I would like to say that I have always been myself and the way my personality is, it is a representation of new India and for me, that is how I look at it. It is not as such a comparison in my mind to me being similar to Australian mindset, it's how we have started to stand up as a cricket team, my personality has always been like this and it is a representation of new India where we want to take up challenges and move forward with optimism and positivity," Kohli said on Wednesday during the pre-match press conference.
"I have been touring this place for a while now, it is a wonderful place to play cricket. When you perform well here, you earn the respect of the people. Similar to Jasprit (Bumrah) as well, he performed really well here so there is always going to be anticipation as to how you perform. All the external things are not in our control, which is great for the publicity of the series, but our focus remains on performing well for the side."
Skipper Kohli would be playing just one Test against Australia and he would then head home after the conclusion of the Adelaide Test as he has been granted paternity leave by the BCCI. Once Virat leaves, Rahane would be leading the Indian side for the remaining three Test matches.
"Firstly, Rahane and I have built mutual understanding over the years, we have had great partnerships batting together which is based on trust. Rahane has done a fantastic job in the two practice games, he seems to be very composed and he knows the strengths of our team and how we need to go. We already know the template we play with and how we want to go about things. We are on the same page and I am sure Rahane will do a tremendous job in my absence," said Kohli.
"Till the time I am here the focus remains to provide captaincy and leadership and performances as a player to the best of my abilities, then I am confident Rahane will do a fantastic job, I have said this in the past that this is the time for Rahane to step up and perform strongly as an individual, we are on the same (page) and the vision remains to put in consistent performances," he added.
Talking about Shubman Gill and Prithvi Shaw, Kohli said: "Shubman has not gotten opportunities at this level yet in Test cricket, as and when he gets an opportunity, it would be interesting to see how he goes about things because he is a very confident young man. Prithvi has performed at the Test level but he would be playing in Australia for the first time. I think it is very exciting to see his progress as well.
"Mayank did well here when he last came during the 2018-19 series. It is exciting to have young guys in the field, you can literally tell them to enjoy their skillsets in the middle," he added.
When asked whether one can expect to see KL Rahul in the playing XI, Kohli remained tight-lipped and said: "It all boils down to the combination, KL Rahul is a quality player that is why he made his way back into the Test side, in the end, we have to see the balance and combination of the team. Everyone is playing well and everyone is feeling good, Hanuma Vihari has also been really solid, he is someone who has a great character, where Rahul fits into our team is a conversation we will have to monitor closely. We have to bring our best squad to Australia and whatever combination you go with is dependent on the conditions."
The first Test of the series, a pink-ball contest, will begin on December 17 in Adelaide. Australia had won the ODI series while the Men in Blue walked away with the honours in the T20I series. (ANI)