'A lot was made of my battle with Virat Kohli in the second Test, and for the past few years when I haven't been playing international cricket, he was one guy I love watching," Australian captain Tim Paine said ahead of the third Test in Melbourne
Melbourne: Verbal volleys between rival captains Tim Paine and Virat Kohli caught the attention of players and fans during the Australia-India second Test in Perth. Now, Paine has opened up about his exchanges with the Indian skipper.
After a quiet first Test in Adelaide, things heated up in Perth with captains in the forefront of a banter. And one of the on-field umpires had to intervene and stop it.
With the four-Test series level at 1-1 and the teams preparing for the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne from December 26, Paine has said he loves his battles against Kohli.
Also read: Umpire ends Paine-Kohli verbal duel
"A lot was made of my battle with Virat in the second Test, and for the past few years when I haven't been playing international cricket, he was one guy I love watching," Paine said in a column for Melbourne's Herald Sun.
"Now to be out in the middle going head-to-head with him in a Test series is something I'm really relishing," he added.
"Virat is someone who is prepared to wear his heart on his sleeve and like all professional athletes, hates to lose," the wicketkeeper-batsman said.
"I like the way Virat plays. I don't know him personally but I've always admired - not only his obvious skill as a player - but the passion and aggression he plays with. People like to see that and he gets fans through the gates," he added.
In Perth, on the third day, Kohli had targeted Pain when he was batting in the second innings as said, "If he messes it up, it's 2-0."
To this, Paine hit back, “You’ve got to bat first, big head.”
Later, when Murali Vijay was batting with Kohli in the second innings, Paine told the opener, “I know he's your captain, but you can't seriously like him as a bloke."
Former Australian fast bowler Mitchell Johnson had slammed Kohli for not making eye contact with Paine after the match in Perth.
"Virat Kohli could not do that with Tim Paine, shaking the Australian captain's hand but barely making eye contact with him. To me, that is disrespectful. Kohli gets away with more than most cricketers simply because he is Virat Kohli and he gets placed on a pedestal but this Test left the Indian captain looking silly," Johnson said.
With all said and done, the exchanges between Paine and Kohli were just banter and both did not cross the line. Now, the Australian captain himself has clarified and it is time for everyone to move and discuss about the game.
It is not new for players to thrown in a few words during a match. And with the stump mics turned on during the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, fans are likely to hear more from the field.
Last Updated Dec 24, 2018, 3:55 PM IST