Revenge will be on Australia’s mind when they host Team India in the much-awaited Border Gavaskar Trophy starting from December 27 with the first of four Tests scheduled to be played in Adelaide. India’s tour of Australia will commence on November 27 with the three-match ODI series followed by as many T20Is and the Test series. Ahead of the Test series, Australian Test skipper Tim Paine spoke about his rivalry with Indian captain Virat Kohli.
India had stunned Australia 2-1 to win their maiden Test series on Aussie soil last year on their previous tour Down Under. Australian sans David Warner and Steve Smith were outplayed by Team India in the four-match series. The series saw a lot of heated moments between Kohli and Paine, who didn’t shy away from having a go at each other and keep the intensity levels high throughout the four Test matches.
Tempers flared between the two captains and they even had to be separated by the on-field umpires on a couple of occasions. In an interview ahead of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2020-21, Paine said Australians love to hate Kohli but admire him when it comes to his batting. He also insisted that the Indian skipper was just another player for him despite him being questioned a lot about Kohli.
“I get asked a log of questions about Virat Kohli, he’s just another player to me it doesn’t really bother me. There’s not really a relationship there with him to be fair, I see him at the toss and play against him and that’s about it,” Paine told ABC Sport.
“With Virat, it is a funny one, we love to hate him but we also love to watch him bat as cricket fans. He certainly is polarising in that type of scenario. We love watching him bat, but we don’t like seeing him score too many runs,” he added.
Talking about the intense rivalry between India and Australia, Paine said it’s always a heated affair when the two teams meet. He compared his on-field battles with Kohli to the likes of Joe Root and Ben Stokes stating that there is always more tension involved when a player is as good as the Indian skipper and can take the game away from the opposition quite easily.
“Australia and India, its a heated competition and he’s obviously a competitive person and so am I, so year there were a few occasions when we had words but that wasn’t because he was the captain and I was the captain, it could have been anyone,” said the Australian Test captain.
“There is always a bit more tension when a player is as good as he is, it’s the same when you play against England, its Joe Root or a Ben Stokes. It’s often the best player is the one that your team goes up a little bit, the intensity goes up when the best players in the world come out to the crease,” he added. ( TN )