The Perth contest ended with Tim Paine-led Australian side levelling the 4-match Test series 1-1, having secured a 146-run victory over India. Although the Indian captain Virat Kohli is known to wear his heart on the sleeve, the 30-year-old was involved more than usual in a personal duel with his counterpart. With Paine leading his side to a first ever Test win since the infamous ball-tampering scandal, a rather cold handshake was witnessed between the two captains post conclusion of the game. Highlighting the same, former Australian speedster Mitchell Johnson has now specifically targeted Kohli for his attitude.
In his column for Fox Sports, Johnson highlighted how Kohli didn’t make eye contact with Paine as the two captains went for a formal handshake after the hosts’ victory. He even branded Kohli’s attitude during the incident as ‘disrespectful’.
“At the end of the match you should be able to look each other in the eyes, shake hands and say ‘great contest,'” Johnson wrote in his column for Fox Sports. “Virat Kohli could not do that with Tim Paine, shaking the Australian captain’s hand but barely making eye contact with him. To me, that is disrespectful.
The 37-year-old Australian is also of the opinion that it’s the brand Virat Kohli that helps the Indian skipper get away with things that some of the other players wouldn’t be able to.
“Kohli gets away with more than most cricketers simply because he is Virat Kohli and he gets placed on a pedestal but this Test left the Indian captain looking silly. Kohli has contradicted the things he said at the start of the series. He said he was a changed person – that he was coming in with a different attitude to last time and wasn’t going to initiate anything. What we saw this Test says otherwise,” he added.
Johnson and Kohli have a history of not getting along with each other on the field. During India’s tour of Australia in 2014, the two were involved in multiple heated affairs with one of them specifically being when the Aussie fired a ball towards the Indian while attempting to hit the stumps. Admitting fault at his part, Johnson further penned in his column that he had apologised for his act immediately.
“I apologised immediately because that obviously was not my intention but it sparked a heated debate,” Johnson continued. “After play he came out and said he had ‘no reason to respect’ me. He lost me then. He is the No.1 batsman in the world at the moment and what he does for his team is great but I’m not sure this is how your captain should behave.”
If the second Test at Perth is an example, plenty of on-field tussles are going to be witnessed between the two sets of players in the matches to come, with Kohli and Paine in prime focus.