Wed, 04 Oct 2023

London [UK], June 5 (ANI): Star India batter Virat Kohli said on Monday that his motivation to do well increases while playing against Australia because of their competitiveness and high level of skill set.

Ahead of India's ICC World Test Championship final against Australia at The Oval from June 7 onwards, Virat had an interview with Star Sports where he said, "Australian team is a very competitive side that if you give them even a small window, they will come very hard at you and capitalise. Their skill set is really high. That is the reason my motivation increases even more and I had to take my game to the next level against them. I have to rise and elevate my game against Australia to beat them."Virat indeed loves playing against Australia. In 24 Tests against Australia, he has scored 1,979 runs at an average of 48.26, with eight tons and five fifties. His best score is 186. Across all formats against Australia, Virat has played 92 matches, in which he has scored 4,945 runs at an average of 50.97. His best score is 186. He has scored 16 centuries and 24 fifties against Aussies.

Virat said that the conditions at The Oval will be tough in the final.

"We would not get a flat wicket and batters need to be cautious. We need more focus and have to adapt to the situation and conditions. We will need more focus and discipline while batting," added Virat.

The batter said that in swinging and seaming conditions of England, it is important how you choose the ball to attack and it is the toughest part of batting there.

"The toughest part about in seaming and swing conditions in England is about choosing the ball you need to hit, defend or leave. Playing with solid technique is important. The balance is very important while batting," said Virat.

Virat said that "Adaptability is the key" during the WTC final.

"Whichever team is able to adjust and adapt to the conditions, the pitch will win the match," added Virat.

Virat also talked about the rivalry between India and Australia, which is one of the most fierce rivalries of the sport, no matter the game is being played in India, Australia or a neutral venue.

The batter said that after India won two-Test series against Australia in their own backyard, the rivalry turned to respect.

"In the beginning, the rivalry was seen between India and Australia. But after we won two-Test series in Australia, the Rivalry has turned into Respect. Now when you play against Australia, The respect is visible, that they (India) beat us back-to-back in Tests," said Virat.

India and Australia have faced off in 106 Tests. India has won 32 matches, Australia has got 44 wins, while 29 matches ended in a draw and one in a tie. With India's two-Test series wins in Australia over the last few years and their domination at home against the Aussies, India's record in the last few years has seen improvement.

Out of 16 Border-Gavaskar Trophy series against Australia since 1996-97, India has won 10 series, while Australia has won five, with one ending in a draw.

Australia ended at the top of the WTC table with 11 wins, three losses, five draws in 19 matches whereas India ended in second position with 10 wins, five losses and three draws.

India's squad for WTC final: Rohit Sharma (Captain), Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, KS Bharat (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur, Mohd. Shami, Mohd. Siraj, Umesh Yadav, Jaydev Unadkat, Ishan Kishan (wk).

Suryakumar Yadav, Mukesh Kumar and Yashasvi Jaiswal have been named as stand-by players for the high-stakes match.Australia squad: Pat Cummins (c), Scott Boland, Alex Carey (wk), Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, Travis Head, Josh Inglis (wk), Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Todd Murphy, Michael Neser, Steve Smith (vc), Mitchell Starc, David WarnerStandby players: Mitch Marsh, and Matthew Renshaw. (ANI)

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