Australian skipper Tim Paine has cautioned his gun pace attack against being "too emotional" in their battle with Indian captain Virat Kohli and urged them to play purely on skills if they want to challenge the world's top-ranked Test batsman in the upcoming four-match series.
Kohli's last two Test series in Australia saw him taking on the home side both verbally as well as with the bat. He notched up a total of five blistering centuries during those tours, including three at the Adelaide Oval, which is also the venue for the opening Test.
While the Indian swashbuckling batsman had already made it clear that he doesn't want to get into any confrontation with the Australians, Paine is also calling on his star quicks, namely, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins to tackle Kohli without dragging themselves into any verbal spats.
"I think our fast bowling attack … if they play purely on skill, they're going to trouble him.At times when we get too emotional, we can lose our way a little bit. So it's a really fine line," cricket.com.au quoted Paine as saying.
"There's going to be times when they're going to get a bit fiery, I'm sure. But we need to be mindful of keeping ourselves calm enough so we can execute our skills as well," the Australian skipper said of their fast bowlers.
Following the massive ball-tampering scandal that sent shock waves across the cricket world, Paine along with coach Justin Langer had tried hard to revamp Australia's on-field culture. However, the duo still denied that their players would remain silent on the field, with Langer mentioning that there is difference between banter and abuse.
Though Paine asserted that it is absolutely up to the players to decide whether they want to get into one-to-one contest with Kohli and other Indian skipper, he urged them not to take the matter over the top.
"I think it's important that guys play the way that suits them. If you're someone who likes to get into a contest one-on-one with someone like Virat, then go for your life.But I don't think it needs to be over the top and I don't think guys who aren't normally like that need to start doing it," he said.
Paine, however, said that his Indian counterpart enjoys getting into arguments."He's certainly someone who, from what I've seen, enjoys getting into that sort of stuff. We'll just play it by ear; if there's a time when we think we need to have a word with him, I'm sure we will. If there's other times when we feel like we're bowling well against him and are troubling him, then you don't have to do it," he said of Kohli, who averaged 62 in last eight Test matches in Australia.
Known for his on-field aggressive temperament, Kohli was involved in a sledging war with the Australians in the previous tour but the Indian captain on Saturday said that he has learnt from his past experiences and does not expect any such incident happening during the upcoming Test series.
However,Kohli, who has scored 6331 runs including 24 hundreds from 73 Tests at an average of 54.57, still expects an aggressive battle on the cards.
"Not really, you might not see the same kind of stuff that happened in the last series. But I think in terms of their body language and intent that they have, I'm sure they're still going to be aggressive in their minds," Kohli, who has scored over 10,000 runs at an astounding average of 59.83 in ODIs, had said.
Kohli will look to realise India's dream of winning a Test series on Australian soil when he leads the team in a four-match contest, starting with the opening match at Adelaide on December 6.(With PTI inputs)