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India embraces 'mind games' ahead of Australia clash says Kohli

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The Virat Kohli-led Indian cricket team outplayed the Rangana Herath-led side and won the opening Test in Galle by 304 runs

David Warner is a fecund batsman in the ODI format who can quickly take the game away from the opposition and then Australia have players like Travis Head, Glenn Maxwell and James Faulkner who can ask India some tough questions on any given day and in any situation.

Only soured friendships and damaged relations remained after the on-field taunts and verbal scuffles on Australia's previous tour to India. David Warner would have gained plenty after he overcame arguably the biggest flaw in his record, scoring hundreds in the sub-continent; he scored two against Bangladesh in successive Tests in gruelling conditions.

Australia is now ranked number two in the ODI rankings while India is just one spot under them.

The players' workload remains an ongoing conversation given the quantum of cricket India are playing in the immediate future: from September to December, they play 23 internationals - three Tests, 11 ODIs and nine T20Is - against Australia, New Zealand and Sri Lanka. However, in this series between India and Australia, there will be no reserve days owing to the packed schedule.

ODI rankings at stake - Despite Australia's current downfall in their standar of cricket in the ODI format, they are ranked higher than the Indians in the ICC ODI Team Rankings, but just by a mere decimal.

Without going into stats which in any case are flying around, India have done exceptionally well in the past year or so as most key series' have been played at home.

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Kohli faltered in the Test series - 46 runs in five innings, his poorest return from a Test series on home soil - and has a point to prove against Australia. Steve Smith was caught looking at the Australian dressing room moments before appealing for a DRS.

"A lot of teams are heading that way. I think its up to the player to get versatile in a manner that he can take up different positions what the team requires him to do", he said. India were ready as there is little likelihood of India hosting or visiting Pakistan in the foreseeable future, at least till 2019, the World XI trip to Lahore for a three one-dayers notwithstanding. "We are very sure of that".

The top-order debate - Virat Kohli at No. 3, with not an inch of doubt. "It is another step towards that", he said. Ergo, a tussle between the two and who would Kohli pick, would unviel at Chidambaram.

The chinaman has delivered an astounding performance in the Tour of West Indies and then again in the Sri Lanka series too.

The fact that Kerala chinaman bowler K.K. Jiyas flew in to help the Aussies practice on Friday is a clear indication of how seriously the tourists are taking spin. They have got Kuldeep Yadav in their squad and he is likely to play. And that's how this series is going to be played. "Hopefully we can put him under pressure early in his spell and try and take him for as many as we can", he said.

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