Team India are all set to lock horns with Australia in the World Test Championship 2023 starting from June 7 at the Oval, London. As India will return to the summit clash of the WTC Cycle after losing it to New Zealand in 2021, Australia will play its maiden final in the competition. Ahead of the final clash, the Australian squad praised former Indian skipper and star batter Virat Kohli and told how it is to face him on the field.
Australia pacer Josh Hazlewood said that when it comes to Virat Kohli, it is always the start that is crucial. In a video posted by Star Sports, Josh Hazlewood said, "When you bowl to Virat Kohli, the first 30 balls are important." Joining him was spinner Nathan Lyon, who stated that bowling to Virat Kohli feels like having an entire nation against you as he said, "When you play against Virat Kohli, it seems as if you are playing against a whole nation."
Talking about his experience bowling to the former India great Sachin Tendulkar, Lyon said, "I had some experience bowling to Sachin Tendulkar many years ago. It’s been a privilege playing against Virat Kohli."
Not only this, but Australia’s skipper in Test and ODI format, Pat Cummins said that when Sachin Tendulkar used to bat earlier, the entire nation would stop and watch him play, and now it’s Virat Kohli who compels people to stop and see him play. He could be seen saying, "When Sachin used to bat, and now when Virat Kohli bats, the entire country watches him play."
Praising Kohli and his teammate Steve Smith, the fast bowler said, "If you are just a little bit off, batters like Steve Smith and Virat Kohli will pounce on you. I have got Kohli a few times and he has done the same to me. The contest between us has been good."
Watch the video here:
Meanwhile, former Australia skipper, Steve Smith praised Kohli for his ability to take the bowlers on and put them under pressure. The 34-year-old Smith also said that Kohli knows how to score runs, and he has been doing the same all across the world. Smith hailed Kohli and said, "Virat Kohli’s strength lies in how he attacks bowlers and puts them under pressure. Virat has been an amazing player in all formats of the game. He is one of the batters to watch when he gets going."
Notably, Aussies finished on the top of the standings in the current WTC Cycle by scoring 152 points from 19 Tests. On the other hand, the Rohit Sharma-led squad collected 127 points from 18 Tests they have played during the cycle. In the entire WTC 2021-23 cycle, the only series that Australia lost was the last they played in the Indian subcontinent where they slumped to a 2-1 defeat against the hosts.