Not sure who went easy on Virat Kohli, says Tim Paine after Michael Clarke comment

Updated: Apr 10, 2020, 08:08 IST | PTI | Mumbai

Australian skipper Tim Paine rejects former captain Michael Clarke's claims that his team sucked up to Kohli & Co to preserve lucrative Indian Premier League contracts

India skipper Virat Kohli and Australia captain Tim Paine during the second Test at Perth in December 2018. Pic/ Getty Images
India skipper Virat Kohli and Australia captain Tim Paine during the second Test at Perth in December 2018. Pic/ Getty Images

The Australian cricket team avoids provoking "any fight" with Virat Kohli, concedes Test skipper Tim Paine but he also asserts that it's a strategy to keep the Indian captain's bat quiet, not a ploy to save IPL contracts, as claimed by his predecessor Michael Clarke. Paine rejected Clarke's claims that there was a phase in Australian cricket when the side "sucked up" to Kohli to land fat deals with IPL franchises. "I certainly didn't notice too many people being that nice to Virat or not trying to get him out or anything like that," Paine told ESPNCricinfo. "I'm not sure who was going easy on him; we certainly had a thing where we didn't want to provoke any fight with him because we think that's when he plays at his best," he said.

India are scheduled to tour Australia later this year to play four Tests, three ODIs and three Twenty20 International matches. "Who knows what will happen this series and, as we saw in the documentary, there was still quite a lot of heat in some of those games. I certainly wasn't holding back, but again the IPL's not a huge draw for me at the moment, so I had nothing to lose," Paine said.

"But anytime our guys go out and play a Test match for Australia, they'll be giving their absolute all and I'm pretty sure they're not thinking about an IPL contract when they're running in, bowling to Virat."In November, 2018, Clarke had slammed attempts to improve Australian cricket's image owing to the infamous ball- tampering scandal, saying the national team "won't win a game" by "worrying about being liked". Paine said verbal wars cannot win matches unless one displays the requisite skills on the field. "What you say on the field is irrelevant 99 per cent of the time," Paine said.

"Sometimes you can get a little inside someone's head or something like that, but if you're not batting well and not bowling well, all the talk in the world doesn't mean anything," he said.

Rejecting a one- size- fitsall kind of approach to planning, Paine said strategy has to formulated keeping the opposition's strengths in mind. "There's no doubt our first focus is on executing our skill and being as good as we can possibly be in that area and then sometimes things happen on a cricket field and you've got to go in, you've got to change your tack, or you've got to have a few words.

"As we've seen the last 12 or 18 months, we still do that, we still stick up for each other, we still fight as hard as any Australian team, but we've probably just had to move with the times and I've been really proud of the way we've played out cricket," he explained.

Catch up on all the latest sports news and updates here. Also download the new mid-day Android and iOS apps to get latest updates.

Mid-Day is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@middayinfomedialtd) and stay updated with the latest news

This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/ reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

Sign up for all the latest news, top galleries and trending videos from

This website uses cookie or similar technologies, to enhance your browsing experience and provide personalised recommendations. By continuing to use our website, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy. OK