Mumbai (AFP) – India skipper Virat Kohli said Monday that his side are ready to play a day-night Test at Australia’s formidable Gabba ground or in Perth when they tour Down Under later this year.
Kohli’s men played their first day-night Test in Kolkata last year, thrashing Bangladesh in just over two days, and are set to take on Australia in a three-match one-day series starting Tuesday in Mumbai.
Australia have pushed for more day-night Tests and face the hosts again later in the year, with a four-match series starting at the Gabba in Brisbane.
India had knocked back overtures to play the format in Adelaide at the end of 2018, but Kohli now appears more at ease with pink ball cricket.
“We played the day-night Test here and were pretty happy with how it went. It’s become a very exciting feature of any Test series, so we are absolutely open to play a day-night Test,” Kohli told reporters in Mumbai.
“We are ready and up for the challenge. Whether it’s Gabba or Perth, doesn’t matter to us. We do have the skill sets as a team now to compete against anyone in the world anywhere. In any format of the game, whether it’s white ball, red ball, pink ball.”
India are looking to sharpen their act ahead of the T20 World Cup in October, and the three ODI matches at home will be a key part of the preparation.
– ‘Tough challenge’ –
Aaron Finch-led Australia edged out hosts India 3-2 last year after losing the opening two games and Kohli believes a new close-fought battle will be fought this week.
“It is always 3-2, 2-1 kind of series,” Kohli said on the eve of the opening game.
“Having played a lot against each other, we know the strengths and weaknesses of either side. So it’s always good and a tough challenge playing Australia purely because of the skill set and mindset they bring on to the field.”
And he warned: “The way they are playing their cricket now after Steve (Smith) and David (Warner) — after ball-tampering bans — have come back, it’s pretty intense.
“They are challenging every team, they are dominating a few teams as well. So I think, we along with Australia are probably the top two sides in the world as far as balance is concerned.”
Kohli said India will need a top performance in every game.
“As players we are excited to play a full strength Australia in our conditions, also to test ourselves against the best,” said Kohli.
“In the year of the World Cup as many games as we play together as a team, it’s going to benefit us, especially the white-ball cricket.”
Kohli also said he is open to playing three opening batsmen — KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma — in the same team, even if it means dropping himself down the batting order.