Sydney: India skipper Virat Kohli on Thursday said that playing together with the Australian players for the Indian Premier League (IPL) franchises would not give his players any extra advantage.
At the recently concluded IPL, Kohli was the captain of Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), which also featured Australia limited-overs squads skipper Aaron Finch and leg-spinner Adam Zampa. Similarly, Shikhar Dhawan and Shreyas Iyer played for Delhi Capitals (DC), which also featured Australia’s Marcus Stoinis and Daniel Sams, while Ricky Ponting, who is assisting the Aussies in preparations, was the head coach of DC.
Australia vice-captain Pat Cummins played for Kolkata Knight Riders which also had Shubman Gill. Steve Smith and Sanju Samson, who is the second wicket-keeper in the shorter formats, represented Rajasthan Royals. But Kohli is unworried and unperturbed.
“We have played against him [Finch] in the past as well, so there is no drastic revelation that happens when you play for two months. You have played against these players for [the last] six-seven years. You know their strengths and weaknesses, because you see them play, day in and day out, not against you but against other teams as well,” said Kohli ahead of the first ODI against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG).
Finch had a slightly below-par IPL tournament where he scored at an average of just over 22. But Kohli said he is confident that Finch will return to form.
“Players go through different phases in different times of their career, Finchy is a quality player, hence he was included in the RCB side, and he continues to perform at international level,” said Kohli.
The India skipper also said that the Australian players too will not have any advantage after having played with the Indian players in the IPL.
“Similarly for them, Zampa has seen me bat at the nets but that doesn’t mean they have extra advantage. It is basically playing together in one tournament and then going and representing our countries, which we have been doing for so many years playing against each other,” he pointed out.
“So it doesn’t do anything in figuring out strengths and weaknesses and we already have worked on those things and we have played against each other for the last six-seven years even before we played together in the IPL.”