MELBOURNE: Virat Kohli seems to have left an indelible mark on Australian Test captain Tim Paine, who says he will “always remember” the Indian skipper for being the world’s best batsman, capable of also getting under the opposition’s skin with his competitiveness.
Kohli and Paine have had a fiery rivalry which goes back to India’s 2018-19 tour of Australia. Their on-field spats were an interesting sub-plot during the historic showdown in which India became the first Asian country to win a Test series Down Under.
“For Virat Kohli, I’ve said many times, he seems like the type of player you would love to have on your team. He is competitive. He is the best batsman in the world,” the 36-year-old Paine said on the ‘Gilly and Goss’ podcast.
Read AlsoI certainly wasn’t making any excuse: Tim Paine after facing backlash on ‘sideshow’ comments Australia captain Tim Paine on Friday stood by his comments that his team indeed got distracted by India’s “sideshow” but clarified that he didn’t ever intend to use it as an excuse for their home Test series defeat in January. “I did say that they simply outplayed us and that they deserved to win
“He (Kohli) is challenging to play against and he can get under your skin because he is so good and he is so competitive.
“But yeah, for me from where I came from, sharing a feud with him four years ago, He is certainly someone I will always remember,” he added.
Interestingly, last year Paine had said that Kohli is “just another player” in the Indian team who “doesn’t really bother me”.
He had also stated that the Australian team “loves to hate” the superstar for his awe-inspiring abilities with the bat.
Paine, after the stunning loss in 2018-19, endured another debacle earlier this year when an injury-ravaged Indian team, which did not have Kohli after the opening Test, upstaged the Aussies in the Tests for a second successive tour.
He had recently caused a flutter by stating that his side was distracted by the Indian team’s “niggling” during this year’s series. Paine had to clarify that he wasn’t making excuses for the loss after drawing criticism for his comments.