Virat Kohli made it clear that he doesn't need to get into an altercation on the field to get pumped up and has belief in his abilities to score runs without getting riled up. However, Australian pacer Pat Cummins is not completely convinced by the Indian skipper's comments and said that he would be surprised if Kohli doesn't get into verbal battles in Australia. India begin their long tour of Australia with the first match of the three-T20I series slated for November 21 at The Gabba in Brisbane.
"I think I heard him say in the media the other day he won't, but I'll be surprised if he doesn't," Sydney Morning Herald quoted Cummins as saying to Fairfax Media. "He's so competitive, he really thrives on that."
Virat Kohli and head coach Ravi Shastri had held a press conference before Team India's departure for the tour of Australia where the former said that he was happy to play a series Down Under without any on and off-field drama.
"When it comes to getting engaged in an argument, or a fight, as people like to call it excitedly, I have been completely okay with playing without an altercation. At a personal level, I don't need to find these things anymore. I have enough belief in my abilities that I can play without a reason to pump myself up," said Kohli.
Former Australian pacer Mitchell Johnson, who has had some fiery face-offs with Virat Kohli in the past, also seemed unsure of Kohli's new stance.
After reading Kohli's statement, Johnson took a cheeky dig at Kohli's hopes of having a sledge-free summer in Australia.
"I look forward to no Virat send offs," Johnson tweeted.
I look forward to no Virat send offs— Mitchell Johnson (@MitchJohnson398) November 15, 2018
Most pundits and former cricketers believe that in the absence of Steve Smith and David Warner, this is India's best chance to win a Test series in Australia.
India have been in top form in the past few months -- putting in some impressive performances in England despite the Test series loss, winning the Asia Cup and then dispatching the Windies at home without breaking a sweat.
The same, however, cannot be said for Australia who are enduring one of their most tumultuous periods. While performances have been lacklustre on the field, off-field happenings have dominated the news in the past 18 months.
It all started with the lengthy pay dispute the players' union and Cricket Australia (CA). What followed in South Africa was even worse with grave repercussions for the sport in the country.
A massive controversy erupted when Australian batsman Cameron Bancroft was caught trying to alter the ball using sandpaper in the third Test at Newlands.
Captain Steve Smith, Bancroft and fellow conspirator David Warner came under heavy criticism from the public. Smith was stripped of the captaincy and all three players received lengthy bans.
The fallout was quite severe on Australian cricket.
Chairman David Peever, CEO James Sutherland, coach Darren Lehmann, high performance manager Pat Howard, top media executive Ben Amarfio and board member Mark Taylor all quit in a cleanout of epic proportions.
India's tour of Australia starts November 21 with a three-match T20I series. The two teams will then face-off in a four-match Test series before playing a three-match one-day international (ODI) series in January.