SYDNEY (AP) — Aaron Finch and Virat Kolhi were teammates at Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League before arriving in Australia this month to enter quarantine as part of the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.
On Friday, they'll be opposing captains when India's tour to Australia opens with a one-day international in Sydney.
Finch, who is in charge of the Australian one-day squad, held an online news conference of the eve of the series opener and it finished 45 minutes before he was due to exit quarantine.
Both teams are cutting it fine ahead of a schedule that includes three one-day and three Twenty20 internationals in Sydney and Canberra before the four-test Border-Gavaskar Trophy series starts with a day-night match in Adelaide on Dec. 17.
Kohli will leave the tour after the first test match and return to India to be with his wife for the birth of their first child.
Until then, Finch is preparing his team to take on a batsman he described as the best ever in the one-day format.
“If you look at his record, it’s second to none. It really is remarkable,” Finch said. “What we have to keep in mind is that we have to keep looking to get him out.
“When you go away from that and you look to contain players, you can miss a trick. He’s probably the best one-day player of all time, so it’s about sticking to our plans and being really committed.”
Kohli is one of the world's leading batsmen in all formats of the game, including an average of 59.33 in ODIs. Like Finch and 11 other Australians who were involved in the IPL — which meant living in a bio-security bubble in the United Arab Emirates for more than a month — Kohli and his India lineup have been isolating Sydney for two weeks.
Kohli has been providing some updates on social media of center wicket practice and other training, but otherwise India's buildup has been more low-key than a usual tour.
India also will be without explosive batsman Rohit Sharma, who was injured during the IPL.
But Finch doesn't expect that to decrease the threat that India poses to Australia on the field.
“He’s had quite a bit of success against us (and) you want to play against the best players,” Finch said. “Whoever is going to replace him — you take a way a lot of experience but you’re also bringing in another quality player.”
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