Former Australia skipper Michael Clarke had recently commented that the Australian players were scared of losing their IPL contracts during India’s tour down under in 2018-19 season. The Virat Kohli-led had won the Test series in Australia for the first time. But Clarke felt that the hosts didn’t play with the sort of aggression they are used to play and were scared of losing a chance to play in the IPL 2019 season.
However, Australia’s Test captain Tim Paine has refuted Clarke’s claims now stating that no player from his team was even thinking about the IPL during the series. Rather he went on to say that every bowler who had ball in his hand steamed in to get the Indian skipper out every time. Paine also revealed that Australia players didn’t involve in sledging much with Kohli as he is at his best when someone messes with him.
“I certainly didn’t notice too many people being that nice to Virat or not trying to get him out or anything like that. 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,” he said while speaking to ESPNCricinfo.
I wasn’t holding back, says Tim Paine
Tim Paine referred to the documentary released on Amazon Prime ‘The Test’ while recalling the tussle between him and Virat Kohli in the Perth Test. The latter was pumped up and things were heated in the middle. This is when Paine, while batting, started having a conversation with him and even the on-field umpires had to intervene.
The 35-year-old also added that he had nothing to lose as he wasn’t going to play in the IPL anyway but his players gave their 100% in every Test match. “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.
“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.
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