Virat Kohli, Tim Paine Label Heated Exchanges In Perth As “Competitive Banter”

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Team India skipper Virat Kohli and Australia captain Tim Paine said on Tuesday that their heated exchanges that prompted umpires to intervene during the second Test in Perth were in competitive spirit. Kohli, one of the most animated players in world cricket right now, said that attention should not be paid to anything that was said during the match. “As long as there is no swearing the line doesn’t get crossed,” Kohli said after India’s 146-run loss in Perth. “And no personal attacks.”

Paine Kohli

The Indian captain, who described the exchanges as “competitive banter” added that the verbal blows during the second Test were nothing as compared to their Australian tour in 2014, when he claimed to have been called a “spoilt brat”.

“Stump mics and cameras… these things are totally irrelevant,” he said. “It stays on the field.”

Paine also said his sparring with Kohli did not get out of hand, adding that he admired Indian skipper’s passion for Test cricket.

“It was a highly competitive Test match from both teams and there was a lot on the line, with both teams desperately wanting to win,” Paine said.

“It (Kohli’s behaviour) was not (worrying) to me, I love it and I’m sure it was great to watch.”

After the ball-tampering scandal, Australia’s on-field behaviour was criticised given the team’s history of sledging, or insulting opposition players.

But Paine said he was pleased with the competitive spirit his team showed in Perth.

“At some point you have got to draw a line and start sticking up for yourself and your team-mates,” he said.

“We are all very passionate about playing Test cricket for Australia.

“I was really proud of the way our team conducted itself on the field this week.”

Australia won by 146 runs for their first Test victory since the ball-tampering scandal in March but the match attracted attention because of the exchanges between Kohli and Paine on the third and fourth days.