NEW DELHI: It will take a “collective bowling effort” from Australia to counter the Virat Kohli phenomenon but former batsman Mike Hussey believes that Mitchell Starc with his abilities will pose some serious challenge for the Indian captain throughout the Test series.
Kohli recently eclipsed Sir Don Bradman’s world record scoring four double hundreds in four successive Test series.
“I think Starc is a brilliant bowler for the sub-continental conditions. He bowls at a genuine pace, can swing the new ball and is an excellent exponent of reverse swing. I am sure he will challenge Kohli throughout the series. It will, however, take a collective effort to stop Kohli, who has been phenomenal of late,” Hussey told PTI in an exclusive interview.
Asked about the kind of challenges that Steve Smith will face, Hussey said that despite Indians being champion players of spin bowling, the Australian captain need to be patient with spinners Nathan Lyon and Steve O’Keefe.
“He has experience of playing in India, which is important both in Tests and at the IPL. I feel he needs to show a lot of faith and patience with his spinners and get the field right, with a nice balance of attacking and defending,” observed Hussey, a veteran of 79 Test matches.
David Warner has been in form of his life, pretty similar to Kohli’s purple patch but Hussey reckons that it will be a different challenge on very different tracks that both Warner as well skipper Smith will enjoy.
“There is always a lot of pressure on Warner and Steve Smith to score big runs for Australia. The good thing is that they are both very hungry for runs and love batting. India will be a huge challenge for both players but I am sure they are very determined to have an impact on the series.”
Known as ‘Mr Cricket’ for his consistency, Hussey is happy with the kind of preparation that the Aussies have undertaken in Dubai but is keen to watch how much of it translates into performances.
“This tour of India has been a big focus for Cricket Australia for some time now and the preparation has been meticulous. Whether that transcends into performance on the field remains to be seen but the preparation has certainly been thorough,” he said.