Ahead of the first ODI match, Indian captain Virat Kohli spoke about the intensity he expects from his side when they walk out to take on Australia. The rivalry between India and Australia is well documented and as per former Australian batsman, Matthew Hayden, the passion and intensity in Indian cricket brings out the best even in touring Australian sides and hence, they love coming to the country.
“We’ve probably seen through cricket the real India be born. I mean economically, its hopes and dreams have ridden the passion and emotions of the Sachin Tendulkars who have made cricket a globally recognised household name. And under Sourav Ganguly and now under his leadership in the BCCI as well, it’s just enabled India to just rise and rise and rise,” Hayden told the host broadcasters ahead of the first ODI.
“You have got someone like Virat Kohli at the actual helm and he does not let any part of that go, it’s constant upward direction. Australia love this challenge,” he further added.
Michael Slater too echoed these words and he went on to add that Virat Kohli and his style of leadership has managed to extract the best out of this Indian team.
“I love Virat, he is favourite cricketer in the world. He leads not just this team, but he leads India. His eyes are always expressive and what he gets from his teammates is just high standards. This lifts the side and makes it extremely difficult for touring sides coming here,” Slater said.
Aaron Finch won the toss and elected to bowl first. Kohli too wanted to bowl as he expected the dew to play a major part.
“At home, I don’t think any other team has else challenged so much. The last time they came here, they won the series and that too after losing the first two games. We know against Australia we have to be on top of our game. It is a challenge everytime you play them, whether it is in Australia or at home. Quality sides will challenge you everywhere. We are very excited to take on a side like Australia,” Kohli said at the toss.