I'm not sure who went easy with Kohli to protect IPL contracts: Paine on Clarke's comments

HOBART: Australian Cricket the team didn't want to provoke unnecessarily Virat Kohli but its predecessor Michael Clarke Players' claims are afraid to sled the Indian captain to protect their IPL offers is far from the truth said the current test pattern Tim Paine .

Paine rubbished Clarke's claims that his team had sucked up to Kohli in order to land fat deals with IPL franchises, calling it a tactical decision not to engage Kohli into a verbal duel during the 2018-19 series but there was no other motivation.

I certainly didn't notice that many people were so nice to Virat or didn't try to get him out or something, Paine told ESPNcricinfo.

I thought everyone who had the ball in hand or when we were hitting was doing everything possible to win the game for Australia. I'm not sure who was easy on him; We certainly had something we didn't do. We want to provoke any fight with him because we believe that is when he plays best, Paine said.

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India is scheduled to tour Australia from October 2020 to January 2021 to play four events, three one-day international matches and three Twenty20 international matches.

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 said.

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.

In November, 2018, Clarke had slammed attempts to improve Australian Cricket 's image in the wake of a infamous 2018 ball-tampering scandal, saying the national team "won't win a game" by "worrying about being liked".

Paine said verbal wars will not win games unless one puts effort into the field.

What you say in the field is irrelevant 99% of the time, Paine said. Sometimes you can get a little bit into someone's head or something, but if you're not hitting well and not playing well, all the conversation in the world doesn't mean anything, he said.

"There's no doubt our first focus is on executing our skill and being as good as we can possibly be in that area and then sometimes things happen on a Cricket field and you've got to go in, you've got to change your tack, or you've got to have a few words.

"As we've seen the last 12 or 18 months, we still do that, we still stick up for each other, we still fight as hard as any Australian team, but we've probably just had to move with the times and I've been really proud of the way we've played our Cricket ."