India captain Virat Kohli has urged Australia to respect conditions in England during the Ashes later in the year, stating patience will be the key for batsmen.
Kohli had a disastrous tour of England in 2014 where he scored only 134 runs in five Tests but reinvented his game and came back last year to pile on nearly 600 runs when no other batsman on either side came even close to scoring 400.
After India clinched the Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2-1, which could have been 3-1 but for rain in Sydney, Kohli urged Australian batsmen to take their time against the Dukes balls.
“If you go out there with an ego, you might as well not go at all,” Kohli said. “Because that Dukes ball, it buries egos pretty quickly.
“You have to curb yourself down and do the hard yards. Grind it out the whole day … you have to be patient as a batsman. There’s lot of time in Test cricket. But sometimes we are so nervous as batsmen, we don’t quite realise it.
“You just want to get away quickly but in England you’re not allowed to do that. So, you have to buy your time. And you have to earn the right to score runs eventually.
“But you have to get into a position where you should not even look at the scoreboard to see the number of balls. It’s inconsequential; patience is the only thing works there and putting runs on the board again is the most important thing to win Test matches.”
Australia batsman David Warner said he is only looking to put in good performances and leave national selection to the selectors as he continues to serve his Australian cricket ban.
Warner and Steve Smith are serving one-year bans from Cricket Australia for their role in the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa early last year. Cameron Bancroft has just returned to Australian cricket after his nine-month ban ended.
Warner, who will be leading Sylhet Sixers in the Bangladesh Premier League, said: “It is up to the selectors whether or not they want to pick me. At the end of the day, all I can do is score runs in this tournament and the IPL, keep putting my hand up and making sure that I am the best person I can be.”
Warner has been banned from Australian leadership for life but will be leading in the BPL. He said he is glad for every opportunity that comes his way.
“I am extremely grateful to be leading the side,” he said. “For me it is about making sure that we as a whole, including the support staff and management, can get the best out of the players. We have to establish our best XI when we get into the park and make sure we do the right things in training. I have to make sure I am doing my job right, which is scoring runs and leading the guys on the park.”
Australia batsman Cameron Bancroft managed only two in his competitive comeback from his nine-month ban for ball tampering.
Bancroft came to the crease with Perth Scorchers struggling on 16-3 in the fourth over of their Big Bash League match against the Hobart Hurricanes and lasted just three deliveries before edging Riley Meredith behind.
The 26-year-old was suspended for attempting to alter the condition of the ball with sandpaper against South Africa in March.
The ban elapsed on Saturday and Bancroft was given an immediate recall by the Scorchers, who lost by six wickets after being limited to 107-8 from their 20 overs.
Meredith was the outstanding bowler after returning figures of 4-15. The Hurricanes reached their target with 15 balls to spare to win by six wickets to make it four wins from four, Alex Doolan top-scoring with an unbeaten 41.
Former Australian captain Ricky Ponting, who was commentating during the game, said he spoke to Bancroft beforehand and he was “really, really nervous”.
“He was a little bit worried about the pace these boys might be bowling at him as he’s only played club cricket for the past few months,” he said. “He said to me that even going out on this wicket he’s sure everything was going feel like it’s a Test match at the WACA,” said Ponting.