Virat Kohli, Tim Paine Showdown About Humor And Theatrics, Feels Australian Coach

Updated: 19 December 2018 17:09 IST

The Virat Kohli and Tim Paine banter has become a bigger focal point than Australia's win at Perth.

Virat Kohli, Tim Paine Showdown About Humor And Theatrics, Feels Australian Coach
Virat Kohli and Tim Paine were almost in each other's physical space in Perth. © AFP

More than Australia's win in the Perth Test, the attention of the cricket fraternity has been captured by the exchange between rival captains Virat Kohli and Tim Paine which has snowballed into quite a controversy in spite of both players dismissing it as on-field banter. Australian coach Justin Langer also doesn't think there is much to it and in fact it had a little bit of humour in it. "I thought it was brilliant. As the two captains and they're trying to stamp their authority on the game and I don't think at any point there was any abuse or any real aggression to it," PTI quoted Langer telling Fox Cricket.

"In fact there was a bit of humour and there's been a lot of talk about banter. There's got to be some in a Test match. It's a great part of the game, and there was actually a bit of humour, a bit of Aussie humour as well.

"That's what we pride ourselves on - we've got a bad reputation in a lot of ways, but when there's a bit of humour in it I thought it was a good exchange," he said.

Asked about that particular moment when Kohli and Paine were almost in each other's physical space, Langer said it was all part of the theatrics.

"I think the days of Dennis Lillee and Javed Miandad are gone. I think Andrew Symonds did it to a spectator one day, it was one of the best shirt-fronts you've ever seen in your life, but I can't ever imagine that in the environment we're now in with so many cameras," he said.

"It'd be absolutely silly for that to happen. That's not cricket. They (Paine and Kohli) got close, but in a lot of ways it's not a contact sport. We get that, but it was all part of that theatre of Test cricket and I didn't see anything malicious in that."

Langer said he was happy that his team could stand its ground against an aggressive India during the Test.

"...It was quite emotional at the end of day three to be honest because I felt India had been really aggressive. I love it and that's what Test cricket is really about. But we just needed to keep standing our ground with our skill, and hopefully we did that in this Test match," he said.

Langer said that the win -- Australia's first since the ball tampering scandal -- was more relief than joyous.

"When we got Rishabh Pant out, that was the first time in about 16 hours that I relaxed. I just had this sneaking suspicion - he's a very dangerous player, when he got out I thought 'ok now we can maybe enjoy it'," Langer said.

"I remember my first Test hundred, if you go to my house there's the bat I had, and it's just a relief after all that time. It's probably eight years, and that was the emotion. In a lot of ways that's the emotion now, relief to get the result.

"A lot of them (Australian cricketers) have been bashed for nine months. Now they can sit back and enjoy it."

(With PTI inputs)

Highlights
  • The attention of cricket fraternity was captured by Kohli-Paine banter
  • The two captains were trying to stamp their authority on the game
  • Justin Langer said it was all part of the theatrics
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