Do Australians love to hate 'polarising' Virat Kohli?
First Published 15, Nov 2020, 4:06 PM
India are touring Australia for a gruelling two-month tour, which is set to include all formats. The trip is famous for its intense cricketing action, besides the mind games that both the sides engage in throughout. India had a successful tour Down Under the last time, in 2018-19.
When it comes to India taking on Australia, the intensity is always at its peak. While the competition with bat and ball has always enthralled fans, it is the mind games that too adds to the energy. Consequently, Virat Kohli and co would be up for similar enthusiasm this time again.
On the same note, it seems like the mind games have already begun before the tour gets underway. Australian Test captain Tim Paine feels that they love to hate Kohli, as they have polarising opinions against him, while they also enjoy watching him bat.
"I get asked a lot of questions about him. He's just another player to me. It doesn't really bother me. There's not really a relationship there with him to be fair, I see him at the toss and play against him and that's about it, Paine was quoted as saying to Australian media, ABC Sport.
"With Virat it is a funny one, we love to hate him, but we also love to watch him bat as cricket fans. He certainly is polarising in that type of scenario. We love watching him bat, but we don't like seeing him score too many runs," added Paine.
The last time the sides clashed against each other, Paine and Kohli were seen engaging in duels. "Australia and India, it's a heated competition, and he's obviously a competitive person and so am I. So yeah, there were a few occasions when we had words, but that wasn't because he was the captain and I was the captain, it could have been anyone," Paine continued.
"There is always a bit more tension when a player is as good as he is, it's the same when you play against England, its Joe Root or a Ben Stokes. It's often the best player is the one that your team goes up a little bit, the intensity goes up when the best players in the world come out to the crease," Paine further asserted.
Although India had won the Tests 2-1 last time, Paine feels that the rivalry would be more concentrated this time around. "I'm looking forward to everything, to be honest, it's a huge series," he noted.
"They beat us here last time obviously with a different team, and as I said, the rivalry between the two countries building all the time...... I think any time you get to test yourself against the best is something that you look forward to as players and as a team, and we certainly are," concluded Paine.