Kohli primed to fire in Australia: Shastri

India captain Virat Kohli gets in some practice in Brisbane ahead of the T20 against Australia.
India captain Virat Kohli gets in some practice in Brisbane ahead of the T20 against Australia.

In a sobering warning, India coach Ravi Shastri says captain Virat Kohli is now even better than the dominant batsman last sighted in Australia four years ago.

And Shastri said the passionate Kohli was again primed to fire up here despite Australia's new 'Mr Nice Guy' approach.

Superstar Kohli will be out to maintain his Midas touch in Australia when India begins their tour with the three-game Twenty20 International series opener in Brisbane on Wednesday.

The last time the feisty Kohli was in Australia he devastated attacks, stroking four tons and amassing 692 runs at 86.50 in the 2014-15 four-Test series.

It was a hard act to follow but Shastri reckoned Australia would see a new and improved Kohli this summer.

"He has matured," Shastri warned.

"What you saw four years ago, he has played all around the world since then.

"He has captained the side, that comes with responsibility which fits well on his shoulders and he has adjusted well.

"He won't take his foot off the gas that is for sure."

Kohli's Test average is 54.57 but jumps to 62 on Australian soil.

He has hit six Test tons against Australia, the most against any country in his career.

And five of those six centuries were made in Australia.

Kohli has built his formidable record feeding off Australia's on-field aggression.

But Kohli can no longer rely on that for motivation after Australia adopted a 'good bloke' approach following the ball tampering scandal and scathing review.

Shastri wasn't concerned, tipping Kohli to again relish his time in Australia.

"He loves coming to Australia. He is passionate about his game," he said.

"The pitches here suit his style of play.

"And once you have done well in this part of the world you always want to come out and do well again.

"I think it is a great place to play cricket. The sporting public appreciate good, tough cricket."

Kohli will again be the dangerman in Wednesday's T20 opener at the Gabba.

He averages 60.42 against Australia in T20s with four 50s - equal most against any other country.

Ominously, all four half centuries have come in his last six innings against Australia.

India will also play four Tests - starting in Adelaide from December 6 - and three one-day internationals this summer.

Australian Associated Press