It seems the battle between Tim Paine and Virat Kohli is only heating up as the Test series progresses. Australian skipper took another dig at Kohli, this time when Indian skipper wasn’t even on the crease. Paine was caught on the stump mic telling Murali Vijay,
“I know he (Kohli) is your captain, but you can’t seriously like him as a bloke?,” said Paine.

Earlier, umpire Chris Gaffaney had to intervene and keep things calm after both were involved in a war of words during Australia’s second innings of the second Test in Perth.

Paine and Usman Khawaja played a wicket-less first session on the fourth day, piling on a 72-run stand to add to India’s frustration. Kohli, who was standing at mid-on, was seen having a verbal duel with his Australian counterpart at the non-striker’s end.

The stump mic picked up Kohli asking Paine “why are you getting riled up’, to which Paine said “I’m not”.

Gaffaney stepped in before things got out of control, saying “Boys, that’s enough. Play the game. You guys are the captains.”

Paine argued saying there was no swearing between the two skippers, but Gaffaney did not budge from his position. The altercation was nipped in the bud with Paine asking Kohli to “keep his cool”

The two captains had a similar argument on the third day as well.

“If he messes it up, it’s 2-0,” Kohli was heard saying on the stump mic during the final over of the day. Paine gave it back, saying “You’ve got to bat first, big head”.

Nathan Lyon had played down the incident in the press conference later in the day.

“I think Tim just asked him where he was going for dinner that’s all. I’ve played enough cricket against Virat to know what he’s like, and I’m not worried about what he’s doing or what India’s doing,” said Lyon.

“Virat is a great player, he plays on emotion, we all know that, and to be honest I’m not too concerned how Virat reacts or the way he conducts himself. I’m just worried about what we can control in the Australian dressing room and I thought as bowlers we came out today and performed pretty well.”

The duel ended – at least temporarily – when Kohli had Paine caught at second slip off Mohammed Shami soon after lunch, following which KL Rahul gave the Australian captain a mini send-off.

First Published: December 17, 2018, 2:10 PM IST