Australian Test captain Tim Paine has rejected former captain Michael Clarke’s comments that Australian cricketers were sucked up to sledge Virat Kohli in fear over not getting Indian Premier League (IPL) contracts.
Paine instead called it as a tactical decision not to engage Kohli into verbal duel during the 2018-19 series but there was no other motivation behind it.
“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 thought everyone who had the ball in their hand or when we were batting were trying their absolute best to win the game for Australia. 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,” Paine added.
He clarified that he was not holding back went it comes to sledging as the IPL is not a big deal for him.
“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,” he maintained.
Paine has full confidence in his players that the bowlers who will be up to Kohli will not think about their IPL contracts and will bowl their best.
“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,” he added.
A few days back Clarke said that Australians have IPL contracts in their minds when it comes to playing against India and this behavior of the Australian cricketers took away the ruthless nature that have compromised the country’s style of play.
Australia are scheduled to host India from October 2020 to January 2021 to play four Tests, three One Day Internationals and three Twenty20 International matches.