Image courtesy of: Zimbio
India captain Virat Kohli has lavished praise on Australia left-arm seamer Mitchell Starc on the eve of the first Test in Pune.
Kohli admitted that he had a lot of respect for the 27-year-old as he has battled through numerous injuries to establish himself as one of the elite bowlers in the world.
Starc is without a doubt going to play an instrumental role in the four-Test series against India as during Australia’s last trip to the subcontinent in 2016, he took 24 wickets in a three-Test series against Sri Lanka at an average of 15.16.
“He’s really taken his game to the next level and that’s why he’s one of the top bowlers in world cricket,” Kohli said. “He’s been hampered with injuries quite often but the way he’s evolved as a bowler has been outstanding.
“I’ve faced him in my first two tours to Australia (in 2011-12 and 2014-15), from then to now it’s a massive, massive change. The way he’s learned the art of reverse-swing and bowling with the old ball as well is quite amazing. That’s something every cricketer in the world would admire.”
Kohli also revealed that he has a good relationship with some of the Australian players, but admitted that sparks may fly throughout the Test series.
“I know them really well,” he said. “We get along really well and on the field we’re professional enough to understand it’s going to be a competition.”