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David Warner says he won’t sledge Virat Kohli when India tour Australia

by Wisden Staff 1 minute read

Australia opener David Warner believes sledging Virat Kohli when India tour Australia later this year is asking for trouble.

The topic of sledging Kohli has been a thorny one for Australia since Michael Clarke accused the team of being too soft on him when India toured in 2018/19, saying the Australians were more concerned with their IPL deals.

That point of view has received a lot of push back, with captain Tim Paine staunchly refuting it. Warner, however, has now said there’s a tactical element to not sledging Kohli – “no point in actually trying to poke the bear”.

“I thrive on the crowd, I thrive on people sort of going at me in the field, and getting into that battle,” Warner told India Today.

“I think Virat is quite similar, if you go a little bit at Virat he comes out harder with the bat and he plays amazing. We have seen that time and time again.

“There is no point in actually trying to poke the bear, because at the end of the day if you do that it just fires up the person a bit more.”

Australia were pushed over by India at home last time around – it was India’s first series win in Australia – with Warner missing out as he served a suspension for the ball-tampering ban.

This time around, he said it wouldn’t be as straightforward for India. “It’s a much-anticipated return to Australia for India,” he said.

“I am excited, one to be selected and to be a part of that. Last time we were not bad but were beaten by a good team and their bowling was relentless. Now, India has got the best batting line-up and our bowlers will like to target them.”

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