Australia paceman Peter Siddle has wasted little time throwing a psychological dagger at India’s stand-in skipper Virat Kohli, saying the batsman could expect a harsh reception from players and fans on tour Down Under.
Fans at Brisbane’s Gabba gave England paceman Stuart Broad a welcome he would never forget in the opening Test of the Ashes series last year and Siddle said 26-year-old Kohli might also find himself a target.
“Obviously the captaincy is going to be a bit daunting for him, coming in for a big Test series in Australia and taking over,” said Siddle.
“He’ll be up for it and no doubt we will be. I’m sure the crowd will be right behind us, backing us up and putting a lot of pressure on him.”
Kohli, standing in for the injured Mahendra Singh Dhoni for the first Test, found himself on the wrong side of fans on his only other tour to Australia in 2011-12 and was fined half his match fee at the Sydney Cricket Ground for making an offensive hand gesture at them.
He later tweeted that fans had said the “worst” things about his mother and sister.
There was “probably not” a worse place than the Gabba for a foreigner to play their first Test as captain, Siddle said.
“The Gabba crowd gets a bit rowdy. I’ve played a few games up there for Victoria and it’s been hard work,” he added. So I can’t imagine playing an international there when everyone’s against you. I’m sure it’ll be tough for him, but any game when it’s your first Test as captain is going to be a tough contest. No doubt we’ll make it a lot of hard work for him.”
Brisbane hosts the first Test from Dec 4, followed by matches in Adelaide (Dec 12-16), Melbourne (Dec 26-30) and Sydney (Jan 3-7).