‘He is just another player to me’: Tim Paine on ‘polarising’ Virat Kohli

Tim Paine said that it's always a heated affair when India and Australia face each other and compared his on-field battles with Virat Kohli to the likes of Joe Root and Ben Stokes.

Tim Paine spoke about his rivalry with Virat Kohli ahead of the much-awaited Border-Gavaskar Trophy and said that he sees the India captain as “just another player” despite his immense talent as a batsman.

India’s tour of Australia will commence on November 27 with the three-match ODI series followed by as many T20Is and the Test series. The four-match Test series will start from December 17.

Last year, India had stunned Australia 2-1 to win their maiden Test series in Down Under.

“I get asked a log of questions about Virat Kohli, he’s just another player to me it doesn’t really bother me. There’s not really a relationship there with him to be fair, I see him at the toss and play against him and that’s about it,” Paine told ABC Sport.

“With Virat, it is a funny one, we love to hate him but we also love to watch him bat as cricket fans. He certainly is polarising in that type of scenario. We love watching him bat, but we don’t like seeing him score too many runs.”

READ | Even Australia can’t fill the Virat Kohli void

Paine further added that it’s always a heated affair when the two teams meet and compared his on-field battles with Kohli to the likes of Joe Root and Ben Stokes.

“Australia and India, it’s a heated competition and he’s obviously a competitive person and so am I, so year there were a few occasions when we had words but that wasn’t because he was the captain and I was the captain, it could have been anyone,” he said.

“There is always a bit more tension when a player is as good as he is, it’s the same when you play against England, its Joe Root or a Ben Stokes. It’s often the best player is the one that your team goes up a little bit, the intensity goes up when the best players in the world come out to the crease.”

Kohli, who will return to India after the first Test at Adelaide because of paternal leave, has a history of good performances against Australia. The 32-year-old will be a huge miss for the touring side next month.

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