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'We'll hold our ground': Aussies won't be combative Kohli's welcome mat

18 November 2018 6:08 AM
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Rivals have noticed a marked change in Australia's conduct but Paine's side has not met an adversary capable of stirring the pot like Kohli.

Australia will not want to let Kohli walk over them like a welcome mat but know their every move will come under the microscope.

Kohli claimed last week that he no longer needed to engage in an argument to get into the contest, but Cummins is not so sure.

"I think I heard him say in the media the other day he won't, but I'll be surprised if he doesn't," Cummins told Fairfax Media. "He's so competitive, he really thrives on that.

"We'll hold our ground, we're going to be competitive and all those things. We wouldn't treat him differently to any others. I think you'll see a lot of passion from both sides but nothing super fiery like we saw against India a couple of years ago."

Relations hit a low during the second Test in Bengaluru last year when Kohli accused Steve Smith of systematic cheating of the decision review system after the then Australian captain looked up to the dressing room for assistance. The match was also marred by numerous confrontations and send-offs to batsmen with both countries at fault.

Any moral high ground Australia had in the stoush with Kohli crumbled a year later at Newlands.

The Australians will wait until they head into camp in a fortnight's time to discuss their plan to combat Kohli's bluster.

South Africa chose not to engage with Kohli when they met at the start of the year. It worked to an extent. Kohli topped the runs chart but scored only one century from six innings and his average of 47 was below his career mark. The Proteas also won the series.


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