Australia skipper Tim Paine said on Monday he is relishing his sometimes heated battle with animated Indian counterpart Virat Kohli, and promised “intense, hard” cricket in the Boxing Day Test at Melbourne. The pair had some testy exchanges in the second Test at Perth, which at one point needed the umpire to intervene.
And Kohli offered only a frosty handshake at the end of the game, which Australia won to level the series 1-1, refusing to meet Paine’s eye in a move blasted by some as disrespectful. But Paine said he appreciated that Kohli never liked to lose. “A lot was made of my battle with Virat in the second Test, and for the past few years when I haven’t been playing international cricket, he was one guy I loved watching,” he said.
“Now to be out in the middle going head-to-head with him in a Test series is something I’m really relishing.” Paine said he was not annoyed “in the slightest” by Kohli looking straight past him at the handshake.