Former skipper Steve Waugh has urged the Australian cricket team to not get into a war of words with Indian captain Virat Kohli during the upcoming series as it might end up providing extra motivation.

The Border-Gavaskar Trophy will begin with a day-night Test at the Adelaide Oval on December 17, followed by Tests at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (December 26), the Sydney Cricket Ground (January 7) and the Gabba (January 15).

The India vs Australia tour will begin with three ODIs starting on November 27, followed by as many T20 Internationals.

“Sledging is not going to worry Virat Kohli, it doesn’t work against the great players and you’re better off leaving those guys alone,” Waugh said in a video posted by ESPNCricinfo.

“I think any extra motivation will make them dig in more and get more runs. So you’re better off not saying much to him.”

Waugh also said that Kohli will be looking to outdo fellow contemporary batting great Steve Smith in the upcoming series. Steve Smith was out serving a ball-tampering ban the last time India toured Australia in 2018-19 but has since returned and continue to dominate in Test cricket.

“He (Kohli) is a world-class player, he would wanna be the batsman of the series. Last time, he and Smith came up against each other in India, Smith really dominated with three hundred and Kohli didn’t get many.

“That would be at the back of his mind that last time he was outscored by Steve Smith,” Waugh said. “So, he will want to score lot of runs and if he does, India will have a great chance of winning.”

During Australia’s tour of India in 2016-17, Smith had posted three hundred in the four-Test series which the visitors lost 2-1.

Waugh feels Kohli is now much more in control as a player and would be keen to lead the team to a series win abroad.

“He has definitely matured, he was always excitable on the field, maybe a little not in control. But now he is totally in control and he has got the team playing in his mode...,” Steve Waugh said.

“He wants India to prove themselves away from home to justify the number one ranking. He has taken them to a level that maybe they didn’t get to before,” Waugh signed off.

With PTI Inputs