Cricket

India vs Australia: Virat Kohli says Jasprit Bumrah is not shy of hitting batsmen on head in nets; warns teammates of Mitchell Starc challenge

One of the world's best batsmen, Kohli shared the experience of facing Bumrah in the nets, on the eve of the three-match ODI series against Australia.

India vs Australia: Virat Kohli says Jasprit Bumrah is not shy of hitting batsmen on head in nets; warns teammates of Mitchell Starc challenge

Mumbai: Jasprit Bumrah doesn't shy away from targeting the batsmen's head or ribs in the nets, India skipper Virat Kohli says about his lead pacer, whose intensity knows no bounds even at practice sessions.

"According to me he's (Bumrah) the most skilful bowler in the world in any format of the game. To play against him, he brings match intensity in the nets. He's not shy of hitting us on the head or targeting our ribs every now and then," Kohli said.

One of the world's best batsmen, Kohli shared the experience of facing the top bowler in the nets, on the eve of the three-match ODI series against Australia.

Virat Kohli and Jasprit Bumrah on Monday retained their number position in the ICC batsmen and bowlers' rankings. AP

Virat Kohli and Jasprit Bumrah. AP

"He's a proper, proper bowler and it's always nice to play against the best in the nets. I challenge myself to play well against him, not every day do you get to hit boundaries off Jasprit in the nets," Kohli said.

On the eve of the first match at the Wankhede Stadium, Kohli and Bumrah were locked in a keen tussle at the nets.

"Bumrah has been playing for the team for last four years and this is probably the second time I have ever got out (in) the net, hitting a few against him and not getting out.

"One was Adelaide before the Test in 2018 and one was today. I'm glad that was the last ball of my net session, because he ran back to his mark, but I got out of the nets," said Kohli.

Kohli also said it will be a challenge for the Indian middle-order to face Australia's pace spearhead Mitchell Starc and his colleagues.

"It is going to be a great challenge for them to face someone like Mitchell. He is a very skilful bowler. Looks like he's back to swinging the ball like he used to, and that makes him a lethal bowler again," said Kohli.

"Anyone who has pace, once they find their length they can adjust anywhere, so pace is always going to be an advantage."

Saying that Adam Zampa played a key role in Australia's 3-2 win in India last year, Kohli feels the leg-spinner had more belief than other bowlers.

"His mindset was a standout for them in the last series. And he made those important breakthroughs in the games that they won after having lost (the first) two.

"So, we have to be at our best game against them in the middle-overs and not think too much about what he's going to do."

He rated the Wankhede track as "probably the best pitch to bat in India" and "probably along with Adelaide - the best batting wicket I've played on".

Updated Date: January 13, 2020 17:06:51 IST

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