‘Poke the bear, Painey’: Warne’s call to sledge Virat

Australia should poke the bear that is Virat Kohli at Adelaide Oval, and captain Tim Paine has got to lead that charge.

The Aussies should say to Kohli: 'Mate, you've only got one Test match - phwoah, don't make a mistake.

'You've only got two innings for the whole series … you better make them count.'

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Normally I would advise to leave the best batsman on the planet alone.

But the mental gameplan should be different this series, because Kohli is only playing the one Test match.

The Indian skipper is going to be that determined to do well, and be that pumped up, that I'd be trying to get him really emotional.

You're playing with fire a little bit, because he might really switch on and become even more determined - if that's humanly possible.

If it doesn't work then the Aussies need to zip it in the second innings and hope he doesn't fire.

Paine and Kohli had a bit of argy bargy and lighthearted fun gamesmanship two years ago, so it will be interesting to see how the captains go on the verbals.

Even though Australia hasn't lost a day-night Test match, I still believe Adelaide is India's best chance of winning a game this series.


Getting Cheteshwar Pujara early is vital for Australia. Picture: AAP
Getting Cheteshwar Pujara early is vital for Australia. Picture: AAP


India's batting looks really strong, and No.3 Cheteshwar Pujara was close to unstoppable two years ago.

But when Pujara walks in I'd be very quick to get Nathan Lyon on, and have a bat pad on the off-side.

Paine has got to do that straight away, because Pujara looked a completely different player and wasn't quite so sure what to do when Lyon had a bat pad on the off-side.

If Lyon doesn't have a bat-pat on the off-side to Pujara then myself and Mark Waugh will most likely yell and scream from the commentary box.


Warnie says Nathan Lyon is the man to tame Pujara. Picture: AAP
Warnie says Nathan Lyon is the man to tame Pujara. Picture: AAP


It looks like the Aussies are going to stick with opener Joe Burns, despite the Queenslander averaging 6.8 runs this summer.

I was a Burns fan, and I understand the consistency of selection and backing in your player, but I would've opened the batting with Matthew Wade and Marcus Harris instead.

Mind you, there's not much between Burns and Harris at this stage.

The selectors are going to be very nervous because everyone's going to say, 'We told you' if Burns doesn't perform.

They'll be on the edge of their seats when Burns walks out to bat, and there'll be no fingernails left by the time he's left the changeroom and got to the edge of the pitch.

They would've chewed through every nail, and so would've Justin Langer.

Wade is in the best form of his life and I think he would relish the challenge of opening the batting, and then Australia's middle order looks great.

I don't want Marnus Labuschagne moving from No.3, I don't want Steve Smith moving from No.4, Travis Head at No.5 needs to consolidate his spot - but is a future captain and so we need to give him every chance we can - and debutant Cameron Green at No.6 looks a fantastic talent.



Australia have won seven out of seven day-night Tests and so the odds are stacked in their favour.

But there are two keys to winning pink-ball Tests.

You have to score your runs during the day and be a little bit more aggressive, because it gets very hard under lights at night, and you have to be sharp in the field.

There's so many chances created by the fast bowlers with the new ball that if you don't hold your catches then you're going to be in real trouble.

Especially in the slips.

I looked at India in the tour game and I reckon they've copied the old Australian style of first slip going a lot wider than the keeper.

They're now staggered properly and I think India, having spent a lot of time on slips catching, is on the right track.

There is intrigue over the make-up of India's attack.

I think they should play Kuldeep Yadav instead of Ravi Ashwin, who has really struggled in Australia and doesn't bowl that well outside of India.

The Australians don't pick the left-arm wrist-spin of Yadav very well, although selecting him would expose a pretty long tail, whereas Ashwin has made Test hundreds and can bat at No.8.

Ideally, I'd pick Ravi Jadeja ahead of both - but he's out injured.

There was a bit of a whisper about India unloading with a fourth fast bowler instead of playing a spinner, but I hope that is wrong.

That would be a huge mistake because you still have to bowl 60 overs in the daylight, and Adelaide's pitch does spin.



Originally published as 'Poke the bear, Painey': Warne's call to sledge Virat

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