Domain Tests v India
Kohli identifies key to his Aussie success
India skipper puts focus on mental preparation as he readies himself for crucial Boxing Day Test
26 December 2018, 07:45 AM AEST
As he prepares for the crunch third Domain Test, India captain Virat Kohli reckons the secret to success on Australian soil is all above the shoulders.
Kohli's supreme record in foreign conditions in Australia, where he averages 58.45 and has scored six centuries, has reinforced his status as a modern-day great.
The 30-year-old's masterful first-innings century in Perth wasn't enough to prevent Australia from levelling the series but it was another reminder that for all of his technical ability, Kohli's greatest asset may be his mental fortitude.
When Kohli strode to the crease at Perth Stadium, India were 2-8 and at risk of falling to pieces against a fearsome Australian attack on a lively deck.
By the time he departed, India were 6-251 and back in the game.
"It's hardly anything technical," Kohli said on the eve of the Boxing Day Test when asked about his success in Australian conditions.
"If you're convinced in your mind that you can do it, your body starts reacting accordingly. It's all about getting into that frame of mind, as a team, as individuals when we prepare our own skill sets.
"I feel it's 80 per cent mental and 20 per cent technical when you go to any country away from your conditions to play.
"The team that stays in a good zone for long enough, they end up doing special things. We're definitely working on that aspect, to stay in that zone and keep playing good quality cricket and be competitive on all days of the Test match."
Kohli is hoping for a livelier MCG pitch than has been produced in recent years but there are early indications it will be another relatively flat deck.
Either way, Kohli said it was important for visiting batsmen to steel themselves for conditions similar to the fierce pace and bounce produced in Perth.
"As a batsman, if at any stage you're hesitating or scared of the bounce, then you're definitely going to get hit," he said.
"It's something you sit in your room and work on. It's not something you can just arrive and feel on that particular day.
"To get into that frame of mind where you feel like you're ready enough to get runs anywhere ... that takes a constant effort on a daily basis."
Domain Test Series v India
Dec 6-10: India won by 31 runs
Dec 14-18: Australia won by 146 runs
Dec 26-30: Third Test, MCG
Jan 3-7: Fourth Test, SCG
Australia squad: Tim Paine (c, wk), Josh Hazlewood (vc), Mitch Marsh (vc), Pat Cummins, Aaron Finch, Peter Handscomb, Marcus Harris, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Shaun Marsh, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc, Archie Schiller
India squad: Virat Kohli (c), Murali Vijay, KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Hardik Pandya, Hanuma Vihari, Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant (wk), Parthiv Patel (wk), Ravi Ashwin, Ravi Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar