Battle lines draw: Kohli lays down rules
VIRAT Kohli might not want the spotlight as India chase a bit of history in Australia but the hosts believe it's likely to follow him regardless.
The Indians kick off their tour with a Twenty20 in Brisbane on Wednesday, while a maiden Test series victory on Australian soil is the ultimate aim.
India's combative batsman claimed pre-tour that he wouldn't go looking for trouble against an Australia side also set to be on their best behaviour following the Cape Town bans.
And in his first interview since arriving with the team, Kohli took the chance to establish the battle lines.
"I don't think anyone means to be at the centre of everything," he said. "All the noise from the outside, it's as influencing as you want it to be and I usually stay away from all of this.
"(But) if the opposition are aggressive towards you then you will counter it.
"We draw our own self respect line and if we feel anyone crosses that line then we stand up for it."
Opposing captain Aaron Finch doesn't expect a war of words, only an intense contest when the teams clash at the Gabba to open the three-game T20 series.
"Virat plays the game the way that gets the best out of himself," he said. "At times that means being verbal for his team, pumping them up, being right in the contest, he loves that.
"You see how passionate he is about the game; it'll still be fierce and he'll have a presence out there no doubt.
"But whether it's banter, or a bit of sledging here and there, I don't expect that."
Former Test captain Steve Waugh believes the Indians are talking a big game given their history in Australia and a recent 4-1 Test series loss in England.
A respectful Kohli admitted on Tuesday they failed to take their chances in England but that they have the depth and quality to challenge Australia in the longest format.
"We are definitely not thinking about this is the last opportunity to win in Australia; I don't think that's the right mindset to have," he said.
"Whatever series we play, our aim is to win that series. We don't want to be a team that wins odd Tests here or there."