Australian Test team captain Tim Paine has called his Indian counterpart Virat Kohli a “polarising” character in his country ahead of the two teams’ full series, including thee ODIs, three T20Is and four Tests.
“I get asked a log of questions about Virat Kohli, he is just another player to me it does not really bother me. There is 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.
Paine also clarified that his team does not make an exception with Kohli when it comes to their agggression. He added that the Aussies would do the same with anyone.
“Australia and India, it is a heated competition and he is obviously a competitive person and so am I. 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,” added Paine.
“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, it’s 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,” the Tasmanian said.
India’s tour of Australia will kick off with the ODI series from November 27. It will be followed by the three-match T20I series from December 4 before the Virat Kohli-led team begins the title defence of the Border-Gavaskar trophy with the pink-ball Test in Adelaide from December 17.
The first Test at Adelaide will be India’s first day-nigt Test outside home soil. It will also be skipper Virat Kohli’s only appearance in all-whites in Australia this time as he would return to India on a paternity leave after the opener.
Kohli had already informed the BCCI about his wish to return to India to unite with his wife Anushka Sharma. They are expecting their first child in January next year.
The day-night Test will be followed by Tests at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (December 26), the Sydney Cricket Ground (January 7) and the Gabba (January 15).