'...very brave man to write Virat Kohli off': Aaron Finch lauds maverick India batter ahead of 1st India vs Australia T20I
Just over 24 hours remain before India and Australia re-ignite their rivalry on the 22 yards. The Baggy Greens are already in India as they gear up for a fascinating three-match T20I series against the Men in Blue. The series is going to be of utmost importance for both sides as they look to iron out their flaws and decide on best possible XI ahead of the marquee T20 World Cup in October.
During a virtual interaction with the media ahead of the first T20I against India, Australia skipper Aaron Finch on September 19 (Monday) said it will take a very brave man to write Virat Kohli off and what the former India captain has achieved in the last 15 years is just 'ridiculous'.
"It will be a very brave man to write Virat Kohli off. At any stage, he has shown for 15 years now that he is one of the greatest players of all time," Finch said on the eve of the series-opener against India.
"Particularly in T20 cricket, he's someone who has developed and grown his game over such a long period that you always plan and prepare the best when you're coming up against him.
"He is super and has 71 international centuries. That's just ridiculous," Finch said in a virtual media interaction.
Kohli overcame a prolonged lean patch at the Asia Cup earlier this month and also scored his 71st international century. The hundred was his first since November 2019.
Finch will be in focus during the series after he announced his retirement from ODIs following his struggles with the bat.
He will be expected to be at his best ahead of the T20 World Cup at home.
"Over a long period of time, you get pretty comfortable with criticism but in T20 cricket, I feel my form has been really good for quite a while now. I think if you separate the ODI form and the T20 form, then they're totally different, they're two different formats of the game," said Finch.
Australia will go about their plans here with one eye on the World Cup at home where the conditions will be very different. The Finch-led side go into the ICC event as defending champions.
"Every decision that we make, I think, has one eye towards the World Cup and seeing the wicket yesterday, it looked like there was quite a bit of grass on it," Finch said.
"And we know in Mohali, the ball can swing around and it can carry through quite a bit, so I think we will be mindful of not being too narrow-minded in terms of our focus.
"What we've tried to do over the last sort of six-eight-ten months is make sure that everything that we're doing in the T20 space ties back into the World Cup and, for us, it's about making sure that once we get there that we've had plenty of different combinations of teams that we can play." Australia have rested a lot of senior players including David Warner, Marcus Stoinis and Mitchell March for the India series.
T20 globetrotter Tim David, who has played international cricket for Singapore, is set to make his Australia debut. He is being seen as the x-factor in the squad. Finch confirmed that Steve Smith will bat at number three on Tuesday.
(With PTI inputs)