Virat Kohli and Tim Paine were involved in war of words on day 4 of the Perth Test between India and Australia. The incident occurred during the 71st over of the Australian innings when Paine and Kohli were seen exchanging words and it required the intervention of umpire Chris Gaffaney to cool down the situation. Some overs later, umpire Gaffaney had a separate word with Kohli as Australia stretched their lead over India, with Usman Khawaja scoring a gritty 14th fifty. Paine and Kohli clashed again in the 76th over of the innings, with the Indian skipper continuing his verbal battle. When Paine was dismissed for 37 thanks to a vicious short ball from Mohammed Shami, Kohli waved Paine goodbye and also raised the thumbs-up.
The two skippers have been going after each other since yesterday, with Kohli getting animated towards the close of play after the Indian team appealed for a catch against Paine. The stump microphone caught some words which were exchanged between both the Indian and Australian skippers. “If he messes it up, it's 2-0," Kohli said. In response, Paine said, “You've got to bat first, big head". The Indian skipper has been animated ever since he was dismissed for 123 by Pat Cummins, with Peter Handscomb taking a ‘dodgy’ catch. Replays were not too conclusive to overturn the soft signal which was out and Kohli, visibly disappointed, marched back to the dressing room.
At the end of day 3, Nathan Lyon, who picked up his seventh five-wicket haul against India, was not too concerned about the showdown. “Kohli is a great player. He plays on emotion we all know that. To be honest I am not really concerned how Virat Kohli reacts or how he conducts himself. I am just worried about how we are controlling the Australian dressing room,” Lyon said.
When asked about the confrontation between Kohli and Paine, Lyon said, “I think Tim just asked him where he was going for dinner that’s all. I’ve played enough cricket against Virat to know what he’s like, and I’m not worried about what he’s doing or what India’s doing.”
Before the start of the series, Kohli had said he did not feel the need to get into a confrontation with the opposition. "I think from last time round, I've become more assured of myself. I don't find the need to get involved in anything with the opposition and I think those are changes that keep happening gradually as you go forward," Kohli said.
India won the first Test in Adelaide by 31 runs to take a 1-0 lead in the series and they will be hoping to stay alive in the Perth Test.