Australia captain Tim Paine said that the verbal showdowns with Virat Kohli during the second Test was more about stepping up for his teammates than making a statement. However, Paine was quick to remind that in case such a situation comes up again he won’t back down and be walked all over. Paine and Kohli clashed several times on days three and four but the duo seems to be perfectly okay with whatever happened and are not reading too much into it. Paine shrugged off the entire incident and said that Australia will invite India for a beer in the change rooms as per their team tradition.
“I don’t think we did touch to be honest. It got pretty close. It was a highly competitive Test match from both teams. There’s a lot on the line and both teams desperately want to win and sometimes that stuff happens” Paine said in the post-match press conference.
“I love it. I enjoy watching Kohli, I always have. I think he brings out the competitive spirit in a lot of people which is great, and I’m sure it was great to watch. I was really proud of the way our team conducted themselves on the field this week.
“We definitely will (the Indian team for a beer) after the series. That’s always been the thing that has happened and will always be the case,” he added.
But the wicketkeeper-batsman was quick to assert that he won’t back down in the face of a showdown if it happens again. “I think it’s just one of those things, at times you have got to draw a line and start sticking up for yourself and sticking up for your teammates…we are certainly not going to sit back and be walked all over. Sometimes those things happen and you have to get involved. Was it a decision as a captain to try and assert myself on the game? No. It was just two competitive cricketers trying to do their best to win the game,” he said.
While India didn’t pick a full-time spinner, Lyon finished man of the match with a haul of eight wickets in the second Test. Paine lauded the spinner and also credited his pace bowling unit that came through for the second Test running.
“It does seem like Nathan is getting better. I feel like at any stage you can throw him the ball, it doesn’t matter at what end or who is on strike, what time of day it is…even with the bat at the moment. I think his game keeps going to another level. I can feel guys growing in confidence around Nathan and that’s what you want form your senior players,” said Paine.
“In terms of the quicks, I think they’re all going beautifully at the moment, they’ve bowled a lot of overs but we’ve got decent rest and all three of those guys super professional so they will be raring to go,” he added.
When asked if Australia are confident enough of playing an unchanged eleven through the series, Paine said, “I think we will just enjoy this victory first and then obviously later today we will turn our attention to the MCG. If it’s the same eleven, then great, but if we have to make some changes I am sure will talk about that at some stage.”
Kohli also said that there was no swearing or any personal attacks during his verbal duel with Australian skipper Tim Paine and no line was crossed in the second Test. “Well, it is definitely nothing compared to 2014, to be honest,” said Kohli before adding, “As long as there is no swearing on the field, and there are no personal attacks, the line doesn’t get crossed. That’s it!.”
“But look, in the competitive spirit, it stays on the field. I am not going to go into details but to be honest it’s not of importance for me to speak on and it’s something that’s done,” he said after India were dismissed for 140 in the second innings,” he said.
“I don’t think I showed any displeasure at the dismissal at all. An appeal was made on call and that’s it. It was done, Australia played better cricket than us and they deserved to win. But I will say that Australia played better cricket than us and they played more consistently. That’s why they won the match. Beyond that, I don’t think I need to over-analyze this game, we are still in a very good space. If we show greater composure, we can repeat what we did in Adelaide,” he added.