Kohli-Tim Paine sledging
India's captain Virat Kohli (C) and Australia's captain Tim Paine react after Paine ran a single during play on day four of the second test match between Australia and India at Perth Stadium in Perth, Australia, December 17, 2018. Image Credit: AAP/Dave Hunt/via REUTERS


  • Virat Kohli and Tim Paine caught up in war of words
  • Both fail to keep their promise to behave

They're back at it! Australian Test Cricket captain Tim Paine and Indian captain Virat Kohli were at each other, again.

“Murali, I know he's your captain. But you can't seriously like him as a bloke," Paine was picked up on a TV Stump microphone saying this about Kohli to Indian player Murali Vijay, after the Indian captain's dismissal from the field. This was on the fourth day of the second Test in Perth, Australia.

War of words

The comment was made in the aftermath of a series of tense exchanges between both captains throughout the games, with the umpire having to intervene at one point. Paine had promised to behave to clean up Australia's image and similarly Kohli had stated in the media that he would not indulge in sledging if the Australians refrained from it - obviously it did not last. The insult by Paine was supposed to be in response to bad behaviour by Kohli previously on the field.

Additionally, Indian actor Naseeruddin Shah took to Facebook to complain about Kohli being the “world's worst behaved player”, while complimenting him as a batsman.

Social media, especially Twitter, saw polarised levels of support from Indian cricket fans online, following the Paine incident.

For and against

B.Madhava Reddy‏ @madhava_reddy_ tweeted: Naseeruddin shah sir made a stament earlier today stating"@imVkohli is the worlds worst behaved player. Sir kohli might be an arrogant person but no player is a champion if he lacks discipline." #KingKohli #AUSvsIND #ViratKohli #INDvAUS

@karannandi added on Twitter: "So how does Tim Paine, who has 38 test centuries less than Virat Kohli think calling him a "Big head" is a good Idea? Again, who is Tim Paine? #ViratKohli #AUSvIND"

Tweep @PradeepBajpai57 defended the Indian cricket captain. He posted: "It is not bad behaviour on Virat Kohli's part, it is the assertiveness of modern sport. And it is still far better to watch a badly behaved cricket legend than to suffer an ugly actor well past his prime. And Kohli has much to be arrogant about, unlike N Shah. #naseeruddinshah"

Reflects badly on India, say tweeps

@VinitMathur10 disagreed: "What happened between Virat and Tim Paine today is not what we would like to see. Certainly not one of the best behaviours by Virat. It would be good if he displays more humility... rather than this misplaced arrogance. Also, he's representing Indian attitudes as well."

Tweep @seven_week took it a step further and asked India as a nation to introspect on Kohli's behaviour. "When we look deep into the words of Tim Paine The words are projected not only to Murali but also towards us i.e the people of India Yes Virat Kohli is the Best Player, Best Captain but we don't seriously like him, as he is informal. #INDvAUS #AUSvsIND"

@MeddySmz felt that Kohli got away lightly because he is a big name in the game. "Just because ur an amazing batsman @imVkohli doesn’t mean u cross the line - had it been some other player @ICC would have banned you by now! Umpires step in to stop warring Virat Kohli and Tim Paine."