Leave your egos at home - Kohli offers Australia Ashes advice

By Sports Desk January 07, 2019

India captain Virat Kohli says Australia's batsmen need to leave their egos at home if they want to retain the Ashes in England later this year.

Australia struggled to put India under pressure during their four-match Test series as their batsmen failed to deliver the big score – Marcus Harris' 79 in Sydney their best.

In contrast, India registered five hundreds – three from Cheteshwar Pujara – and another two scores higher than any Australian, which helped them dominate the series.

India sealed a 2-1 triumph on Monday as rain saw the fourth Test end as a draw, Australia having been asked to follow-on by Kohli.

Australia travel to England in August for the latest instalment of the Ashes and should have Steve Smith and David Warner in their side after their ball-tampering bans.

However, Kohli has warned them they need to be patient if they are to keep hold of the urn.

"If you go out there with an ego, you might as well not go at all," Kohli – who scored 593 runs across five Tests in England in 2018 - told reporters. "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 have not won an Ashes series in England since 2001, but India coach Ravi Shastri believes they could end that wait if they apply themselves this year.

"I think they'll be up to the challenge," he said. "I think Australia has to be patient because in England that Dukes ball will curve around corners.

"So you got to be patient, you got to trust your technique, trust that off-stump and it’s again belief.

"Because you've got the [bowling] attack.

"If anyone tells me that this Australian attack is, you know, not quite there, put your pads on and go and play them, you will find out."

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