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Australia all-rounder Marcus Stoinis said that India skipper Virat Kohli will be 'extra motivated' for a truncated tour Down Under as the batsman is always up to give his '110 percent' in every game he plays.
Kohli will be captaining the side in the first Test at the Adelaide Oval that will be played under lights. However, the batting megastar would be heading back to India after the Test match to be with his wife Anushka Sharma as they are expecting their first child in January. He has been granted paternity leave by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
"Don't worry about Virat, he's up for every single game that he's playing. Yeah, maybe there will be extra motivation, but I don't think there's any extra motivation than 110%. So let's see. I am sure he will be ready to go. He is getting home for the birth of his kid, which is the right decision in my opinion. So I am sure he will be extra motivated," ESPNcricinfo quoted Stoinis as saying.
"We've definitely got our strategies, we've had things that have worked in the past, and at other times the same plans haven't worked and he's made some runs. Obviously, he is a great player, and to all these good players, you do what you want to do, you have your plans, and on the day, you get extra competitive and you hope it all falls in your side of the court," the middle-order batsman added.
Team India will be seen in action for the first time in almost nine months when they lock horns with the five-time world champions at the Sydney Cricket Ground next Friday. The Men In Blue had suffered a 3-0 whitewash in New Zealand earlier this year and they would be hoping to rediscover their rhythm in the 50-overs format by getting the better of the Aaron Finch-led side in their own backyard.
Coming to the T20Is, India would be hoping to repeat the heroics of the 2015/16 season where they had whitewashed the Aussies by a 3-0 margin. However, what is more, important here is that the 2007 World T20 champions will be hoping to start identifying the players who can be a part of the core team for next year's ICC T20 World Cup that they will be hosting in October-November.
As this is India's first-ever T20I series post-COVID-19 break, this is where they would be looking to strategise and plan as the race to the T20 cricket's showpiece event begins.
Finally, it all comes down to the four-match Test series. As India and Australia lock horns in pure whites come December 17, it will not just be about Australia's vengeance or India's desire to write history, and nor will it be about winning the Border Gavaskar Trophy. Because this time, there's something much bigger on the line - The World Test Championship. India currently sit atop the World Test Championship with 360 points whereas Australia are just below the Men in Blue with 296 points.
India had beaten Australia when they had toured Down Under during the 2018-19 season by a 2-1 margin in the four-match series to win their maiden Test series on Australian soil. It remains to be seen whether the Virat Kohli-led side will succeed in retaining the iconic Border-Gavaskar Trophy by getting the better of a full-strength Australian side that features the likes of Steve Smith, David Warner, Marnus Labuschagne, etc.
(With ANI Inputs)
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