Australian coach Justin Langer stated that his team has plenty of plans to keep Virat Kohli away from scoring runs in the first Test. Langer’s remarks came just two days ahead of the majestic Border-Gavaskar Trophy, which will commence with the pink-ball day-night Test in Adelaide from December 17. This will be the only match Virat will play in the Test series as thereafter, he will be on paternity leave as he is expecting the birth of his first child.
Justin Langer and his team will make sure Virat’s bat stays quiet for the first Test before he departs for India. “He is a great player and an equally great leader. I have got so much respect for him but we are going to be really well planned for him because we know how important he is for India as a leader and as a batsman. So, we will have our plans in place.”
“The next trick is to execute them, hopefully, keep him out of the game with his runs. At the end of the day, that's where he is going to have the biggest impact. We've seen a lot of him now, and he has seen a lot of us too,” Langer said during a virtual media interaction.
In addition, Langer also said that Australia will not sledge or abuse Virat Kohli but instead they will focus more on the skills. “What we talk about is how to get Virat out. He is such a great player, we don't talk about whether we taunt him or not. That's rubbish. We play on the skill, not on emotions, at least we try to. There is obviously emotion in the game, no doubt about that, we are going to control our emotions.”
With regards to the preparations of the pink-ball Test, Langer said that teams adapt to the conditions regardless of the ball colour. He said, “I have always said that the best players and best teams adapt regardless of the big game or the colour of the ball, so whether it is the red ball or the white ball or the pink ball, the best players and teams adapt to it.”
Australia have played several day-night Tests, while India have played only one. According to Langer, these stats will not be relevant as it has happened in the past. “So, what has happened in the past, it is nice to replay. India have just come off a day-night practice game, we have done a bit of practice under lights. We haven't played for 12 months or so, so when it comes to the crunch, regardless of the ball, regardless of whether it is day-night or a day Test match it is game on. I don't think it (our past performance) has given us much advantage at all,” Langer added.