Kohli: Coping with Johnson is a mental battle


India stand-in captain Virat Kohli feels that while facing Australia's fast bowlers will be a big challenge, his batsmen are up for it and aren't concerned about the short preparation time.

Kohli will lead the side in the first Test in Brisbane as MS Dhoni is injured, and while they only have two warm up games scheduled, just two days each, Kohli feels it's more about a mental toughness than the actual conditions.

Kohli said on Sunday of the warm-up time: "It should be enough. We don't have any choice, I guess. We've got to do whatever we can with those four days of practice games, and the sessions in between.

"I think coming to Australia and playing, it's more about the mindset rather than getting used to the conditions, because pace and bounce is something which you can get used to.

"But unless you're mentally there, there's no point of any sort of practice."

Despite India's poor record on bouncy decks, especially away from home, the stand-in skipper insisted they'd be able to cope with Johnson and company as long as they focused once set, and saw off the new ball.

He added of Johnson: "He's been bowling really well – everyone knows that. Credit to him for doing all that. We are equipped enough to tackle him on these pacy and bouncy wickets.

"I don't see any good reason why we can't come up and put up a good fight. It's all about mentally being there. If you can visualise being in that battle and being on top, I think you're going to be able to go out there and execute it.

"I think the guys in our team have the ability to do it … it's all about being mentally present.

"There's more pace and bounce, so the shot selection becomes very important. That's what I saw last time – you need a lot more patience compared to back home.

"You've got to pick the right balls to hit in the right areas and figure out with the big fields what are your spots and strengths are – and the areas you should avoid early on with the new Kookaburra because it does quite a bit, especially on these tracks.

"I think Australia is a great place to bat on, once you get in. The morning session goes through [well for bowlers]. The guys need to realise that and play themselves in.

"Eventually I experienced that last time as well. It's a beautiful place to play cricket as a batsman, it's a lovely place to be when you're 30 or 40 and the ball gets a bit old."