India are still to win a Test series Down Under in 11 attempts since 1947.
Team India head coach Ravi Shastri vowed Sunday that skipper Virat Kohli will not tone down his aggression despite Australia’s new, polite approach when the two teams battle it out in the four-Test series for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy that begins on December 6 at Adelaide Oval. “He won’t take his foot off the gas that is for sure,” he warned. “He loves coming to Australia, he’s passionate about his game and the pitches here suit his style of play.”
However, before departing, Kohli said in a press conference that he is looking for a sledge-free series in Australia.
“Those were very immature things that I used to feed on in the early days of my career so that I could get pumped up and don’t necessarily feel all that pressure and the focus is precise,” he had said.
Shastri added that his team has learned from their losses in series defeats against other Test nations in 2018 as well as from four years ago in Australia and his current squad well placed for success.
“I think just seeing the way they’ve played over the last four or five years, and also the way they played the last time they came to Australia (gives confidence),” he said.
“The nucleus of the team is pretty much the same, so if you look at it experience-wise, they’ve gained a lot, touring a lot over the last four years.
“If they learn from the mistakes they’ve made in some of the earlier tours, it should stand them in good stead.
“The endeavor is to get better when you go overseas, and when you look at teams that travel now around the world, there aren’t too many sides (that have won consistently).
“Australia did it for a while in the ’90s, turn of the century, South Africa did it for a while, but other than them two, if you look at the last five, six years, you tell me which team has travelled well.”
India lost challenging Test series in South Africa and England earlier this year.
India, who are still to win a Test series Down Under in 11 attempts since 1947, were beaten 2-0 in the summer of 2014-15. The loss saw MS Dhoni announce his shock retirement after the Boxing Day Test, handing over the captaincy to Virat Kohli.
However, Shastri thinks a breakthrough this time around is possible.
“If you look at those Test matches, the scoreline doesn’t really tell you the full story,” he said. “There were some very tight Test matches, and we lost some big moments badly, which cost us the series at the end of it.
“It could have been just an hour in a session over four days, which made all the difference, whether it was South Africa or England. So you have to learn from that.”
The Kohli-led Team India arrived in Brisbane on Friday and they will be starting their gruelling tour of Australia with the first T20I of the three-match series at the Gabba on Wednesday.