Tim Paine defends team against Michael Clarke's allegations on sledging Virat Kohli
- Clarke had stated that the Australian cricketers wanted to land IPL contracts and hence refrained from sledging India.
- India won the four-match Test series in 2018-19 in Australia 2-1 and scripted history.
Australian Test captain Tim Paine came out in defence of his teammates after being called out by former captain Michael Clarke for being too scared to sledge Indian players during the 2018-19 series between the pair Down Under.
Speaking to ESPNcricinfo, Paine cleared the air after Clarke's recent controversial comments. The former Australian captain had talked about how the Aussies went in too soft on their opponents in a bid to save their lucrative IPL contracts.
The wicket-keeper clarified that the entire squad gave their best to win the series against the Indians and weren't scared to stand up to the likes of Virat Kohli. He explained that they knew they couldn't afford to provoke the Indian captain as that could have motivated him to perform better.
“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,” Paine said.
India won the four-match Test series against Australia 2-1 and scripted history by winning their first Test series Down Under. The Men In Blue did so on their 12th attempt in 71 years. The Australian team cut a slightly depleted figure as they were without the services of Steven Smith and David Warner. The duo had been suspended following the sandpaper scandal at Cape Town in 2018.
Paine referred to Amazon's cricket documentary 'The Test' to explain how the game got heated at different stages of the series. Furthermore, he elaborated that he didn't hold back while having a go at the Indian team.
“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," Paine added.
The Australian Test skipper also reiterated his stance of his team going full throttle against the Indians. He repeatedly emphasized the fact that IPL contracts didn't distract his bowlers or batsmen from giving their best.
“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," Paine commented.Published 10 Apr 2020, 14:14 IST