Australians love to hate Virat Kohli - Tim Paine

Australians love to hate Virat Kohli but also enjoy watching him bat as fans, according to Australia captain Tim Paine.

Tim Paine shakes hands with Virat Kohli at the conclusion of the Perth Test of the 2018-19 season. - GETTY IMAGES

Australians love to hate Virat Kohli but also enjoy watching him bat as fans, according to Australia captain Tim Paine.

“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 told 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.”

'Heated competition'

The last time the two sides met, tempers flared with both captains having a go at each other at every given opportunity. The duo even had to be separated by the on-field umpires on a couple of occasions.

“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 said.

Comparing his on-field battle with Kohli with his battles with Joe Root and Ben Stokes, Paine said it was always a heated affair when the best players were out in the middle.

“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, it’s Joe Root or a Ben Stokes,” Paine said.

“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.”

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Last year, India had stunned Australia 2-1 to win its maiden Test series in Australia and Paine feels the rivalry between the two sides intensifies with every passing series. “I’m looking forward to everything to be honest, it’s a huge series. 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...,” Paine said.

”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.”

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