The Perth Test between India and Australia had plenty of action. It featured a war of words between the skippers of both the sides, Virat Kohli and Tim Paine. The confrontation was serious enough to warrant the intervention of umpire Chris Gaffaney. The tussle between Kohli and Paine came on the third day of the Test when India went for a huge caught-behind appeal in the final over of the day. The stump microphones picked up Kohli saying, "If he messes it up, it's 2-0”. Paine promptly replied: "You've got to bat first, big head". On the fourth day, Kohli and Paine almost had a physical contact and when the Australian skipper was dismissed, Kohli waved him goodbye and raised a thumbs up.
After Australia won the match, both captains shook hands but one could spot a sense of frostiness in Kohli’s gesture. Mitchell Johnson, the former Australia pacer, has criticised the behavior of the Indian captain. “At the end of the match, you should be able to look each other in the eyes, shake hands and say 'great contest. 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. 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,” Johnson wrote in a column for Fox Sports.
The nature of the confrontation between Paine and Kohli forced the BCCI to issue a statement rubbishing media reports in Australia which claimed that Kohli had bragged about being the best batsman in the world while ridiculing Paine as a "stand-in captain". However, Johnson said Kohli had contradicted himself by his behavior in the Perth Test.
“Kohli 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. From my experiences with him and what I am seeing as an observer now, not much has changed. It was disappointing and that is not the only area where he let himself down,” Johnson said.
Before the start of the series, Kohli had said he did not feel the need to get into a confrontation with the opposition and that he had made several mistakes in past tours when he would get involved in confrontation with the opposition. The series between India and Australia is level at 1-1 and the third Test will be played on Boxing Day in Melbourne.