The second Test between Australia and India in Perth was a fiery affair, especially when it came down to the two skippers. Both Tim Paine and Virat Kohli took on each other during the match, and were even involved in a heated war of words. After the match as well, things were frosty between the two players when they shook hands.
Many criticised Kohli for his behavior, terming him as arrogant and questioning his attitude. But Paine has come out defending his counterpart, stating he relished going head to head against the Indian skipper.
"A lot was made of my battle with Virat in the second Test, and for the past few years when I haven't been playing international cricket, he was one guy I loved watching. Now to be out in the middle going head-to-head with him in a Test series is something I'm really relishing," he was quoted by Herald Sun.
The Aussie skipper also had no qualms regarding the aggression of Kohli, mentioning that he is a huge admirer of his batting and passion for the game.
"Virat is someone who is prepared to wear his heart on his sleeve and like all professional athletes, hates to lose. I like the way Virat plays. I don't know him personally but I've always admired -- not only his obvious skill as a player -- but the passion and aggression he plays with. People like to see that and he gets fans through the gates," Paine added.
Kohli and Paine came face to face in Perth during the second Test, which forced the umpire to intervene. With his side on top of the match and looking set to post a massive target for India to chase in the final innings, Tim Paine took the opportunity to have a go at Virat Kohli following an altercation between the two earlier in the match.
It all began when Paine was at the non-striker's end. Kohli, while going to back to his fielding spot said something to the Australian skipper, before the latter retaliated. Umpire Chris Gaffeney, who was in close attendance, asked both the skippers, especially Paine to keep it down.