Kohli isn't Australia's only concern
ON THE back page of today's QT, young IGS cricketer Tom Gillett said the key to success for Australia in the first Test against India is a simple one - get Virat Kohli out.
It's not exactly a well-kept secret that Kohli, the best batsman on the planet in the eyes of many, will be a barometer for the visitors and definitely a key danger man for the Aussies.
Australian legend Allan Border agrees with Tom. He told Fox Sports India's best chance of a series win will come with Kohli leading the run-scoring for both sides.
It is hard to argue the point with someone so knowledgeable - but I am going to.
If we look back at Kohli - and India's - history against the Aussies, an interesting statistical trend appears.
The biggest stat to point to is zero.
That is how many times Kohli has won a Test match against Australia on their home patch.
In eight matches, Australia have won each time.
Compare that to in India, where Kohli has played in seven Tests against the Aussies for five wins.
But all of this is pretty common knowledge to the average cricket fan. Home field advantage is a known commodity.
However what if I told you Kohli actually plays better in Australia, than back home?
This is where things get confusing.
On the subcontinent, Kohli averages just 33 runs against Australia in Tests with a high score of 107.
Down Under, the Indian skipper doubles his average and boasts five centuries from 16 innings.
It is surprising then, that Kohli plays better in Australia and yet each time the Aussies manage to win.
What can we take from this? Perhaps Australia simply plays better at home, managing to cancel out Kohli's influence.
Or those around Kohli fail to fire as they do in India, leaving the skipper with a burden too great to shoulder alone.
Likely it is a combination of all the above plus more. But what it does tell us, is Kohli cannot be the only thing at the forefront of Tim Paine's mind when the two teams take the field in Adelaide on Thursday.
Who will win the spin battle - Lyon or Ashwin?
Will Australia's "big three” of Starc, Cummins and Hazlewood all take the field; more importantly, will they stay fit?
Rankings-wise the Aussies boast the best trio of bowlers on the planet.
India's attack has improved, but is a different beast away from the subcontinent.
The visitors have the depth, but the advantage with the pill definitely goes to the home side.
An honest review of the landscape leading into the first Test tells us India is essentially a known commodity.
So we circle back around to the big question which has loomed over the Australian Cricket Team's heads for months.
Who will score the runs?
In a head-to-head battle between Australia's top six and India's, it is bleak reading for home fans. Even with Prithvi Shaw a likely out for India, the visitors still boast a significant edge in fire power.
But all this will probably be a moot point come 10:30am Thursday. C'mon Aussie.