He might have the wood over Indian captain Virat Kohli with the white ball but Australia’s Josh Hazlewood is adamant that will count for little in this week’s first Test in Adelaide.
Kohli’s dismissal in the third one-day international in Canberra earlier this month to Hazlewood was the fourth time in a row this year the superstar had fallen to the Australian quick in 50-over cricket.
Kohli is only playing the Adelaide Test before returning to India for a period of paternity leave.
Despite the fact he’ll only be playing one match, Hazlewood acknowledged the 32-year-old remains a prized scalp for the Australian bowlers.
“I’ve had some luck against him of late in the white ball stuff. You take a little bit I guess into the next format but I think it’s pretty much a fresh start,” Hazlewood said.
“It’s a different story again with the pink ball but he obviously scored some runs out here last time with the red ball.
“We’ve only got him for the two innings in the one Test so it’s crucial to start well and hopefully nullify his effect on those innings.”
In the 2018-19 Border-Gavaskar series Kohli made 282 runs at 40.28 across four Tests including one hundred.
India’s batsmen dominated that four-Test campaign, claiming their first series win on Australian soil with Kohli’s tally the third-highest run aggregate for the tourists behind Cheteshwar Pujara (521) and Rishabh Pant (350) ahead of him.
Pujara faced 1258 balls across that series, an effort which Hazlewood acknowledged drained the energy of Australia’s bowlers.
“That’s the batsman’s goal – one to score runs in that Test and to win that Test but also to keep the frontline attack out in the field for as long as possible,” he said.
“We spent a lot of time in the field in Melbourne with short rest in between and then again in Sydney.
“In four-match, five-match match Test series that’s a huge goal of the batters to not only score runs in those early games but spend a lot of time in the middle to get some miles in the legs of the opposition bowlers.
“Hopefully we can swing that around this time and keep the Indian guys out there for as long as possible reap those benefits later in the series.”