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'Not sure who was going easy on Kohli to protect IPL contracts'

Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Norma Godinho
April 09, 2020 16:19 IST
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Australia captain Tim Paine hits back at Michael Clarke over IPL contract claims: ‘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’.

 Virat Kohli, left, and Tim Paine bump into each other during a Test match during the 2018-19 Australia tour 

IMAGE: Virat Kohli, left, and Tim Paine bump into each other during a Test match during the 2018-19 Australia tour. Photograph: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Australia Test captain Tim Paine on Thursday said that current Aussie cricketers didn't want to unnecessarily provoke Virat Kohli in an effort to counter Michael Clarke’s claims that players were scared to sledge the Indian captain in order to protect their IPL deals.

Paine rubbished Clarke's claims that his team had "sucked up" to Kohli in order to land fat deals with IPL franchises, calling it a tactical decision not to engage Kohli into verbal duels during the 2018-19 series.

"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 said.

India are scheduled to tour Australia from October 2020 to January 2021 to play four Tests, three One Day Internationals and three Twenty20 International matches.

"Who knows what will happen this series and, as we saw in the documentary (referring to the documentary film around the Australian cricket team, following the ball-tampering scandal, streaming on a popular video streaming app), 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 in the wake of the infamous 2018 ball-tampering scandal, saying the national team "won't win a game" by "worrying about being liked".

Paine said verbal wars won't win matches unless one puts up the effort on the field.

"What you say on the field is irrelevant 99% 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.

"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."

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Norma Godinho© Copyright 2020 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
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