Virat Kohli is an 'emotional character', says Steve Smith

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Sydney, Jan 5: Relishing the challenge of squaring off against new Indian captain Virat Kohli in the fourth and final Test here, Australian skipper Steve Smith today described his rival number as an "emotional character".

India tour of Australia schedule

"MS Dhoni has been a terrific leader for India for a long period of time. There's no doubt about that," Smith told reporters in the pre-match press conference here. (Kohli stunned by Dhoni's decision)

"We saw Virat Kohli take over the reins in that first Test and he did a pretty good job for them. He's quite an emotional character and likes to get involved in a lot of decisions. I'm looking forward to this week again with India with another captain and hopefully we can close out the series well," he said.

"It's going to be a pretty big moment for me as well. It is a home Test and my favourite cricket ground in the world. I am really looking forward to leading the boys out at the SCG," he added.

Australia have already won the series and reclaimed the Border-Gavaskar Trophy after the drawn third Test in Melbourne. They have made one change to their playing eleven, with Mitchell Starc coming in for Mitchell Johnson, who sits out as a precaution owing to a hamstring strain.

Asked if Johnson would have played had the series still been undecided, Smith said, "Probably." "He has got a little hamstring strain. There's no secret that there's a pretty big summer coming up and we want him to be fresh for the ODIs and the World Cup coming up. We don't want to risk him and hopefully he'll be right for those."

Johnson had been critical this past week of the pitches rolled out for the Test series, alleging that they didn't support the bowlers too much as wickets usually do Down Under. Smith though didn't see it as an issue.

"It looks pretty good at this stage. There's a lot less grass than there was on the wicket last year which seamed around a bit and played a few tricks. It looks a good wicket at this stage so hopefully it will be another good Test match," said the young captain.

PTI

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