Steve Waugh: Kohli ‘totally in control’, will look to better Steve Smith this time

‘He (Kohli) is a world class player, he would wanna be the batsman of the series. Last time, he and Smith came up against each other in India, Smith really dominated with three hundreds and Kohli didn’t get many,’ said Waugh

Steve Waugh praised Virat Kohli as 'world class player' ahead of India's tour to Australia. Photo: PTI file

Ahead of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy Test series, former Australian captain Steve Waugh has said India skipper Virat Kohli is “matured, totally in control” now and will be aiming to outscore Steve Smith.

India are set to travel Down Under later this month to play three ODIs, three T20Is and four Tests. The series begins on November 27 with the 50-over games.

When India were in Australia last time (2018-19), the Kohli-led side had won their first-ever Test series in the country, ending a wait of 71 years. The rubber was won 2-1 as the hosts missed Smith and David Warner due to ball-tampering bans.

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Kohli and Smith are rated among the top-five Test batsmen in the world at the moment. Last time, when Australia toured India in 2017, Smith had hit three hundreds to aggregate 499 runs in four Tests at an average of 71.28. He was the highest scorer of the series. Kohli, who played three Tests, managed just 46 runs in five innings. However, India won 2-1.

Talking about the 2017 series, Waugh said Kohli will be keen to outscore Smith this time. “He (Kohli) is a world-class player, he would wanna be the batsman of the series. Last time, he and Smith came up against each other in India, Smith really dominated with three hundreds and Kohli didn’t get many. That would be at the back of his mind that last time he was outscored by Steve Smith,” Waugh said in a video posted on ESPNCricinfo.

“So, he will want to score lot of runs and if he does, India will have a great chance of winning,” he added.

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Waugh, who played in an Australian record 168 Tests, spoke about Kohli’s maturity. “He has definitely matured, he was always excitable on the field, may be a little not in control. But now he is totally in control and he has got the team playing in his mode…”

“He wants India to prove themselves away from home to justify the number one ranking. He has taken them to a level that may be they didn”t get to before,” he added.

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