Melbourne: Tim Paine has thrown an open challenge to Virat Kohli to come out to Australia and play a day-night Test match with the pink ball. Cock-a-hoop after beating Pakistan by an innings despite a fighting century from Babar Azam, the visitors were well beaten at the Gabba, the traditional Test series opener venue to any Australian cricket season.
The Australian captain has in fact, poked the Indian elephant in the ribs with a hint that Team India and its skipper Virat Kohli like to pick an choose where they play their Test cricket. The last time the Indians came out to play Down Under they skipped Brisbane and the Gabba where the home team has not lost a Test for 31 years, not since 1988.
“That’s where we like to start our summer and it has been so for long,” Paine said in continuing to rub it into Kohli, whose team not only skipped the Gabba but Also the pink ball ‘test’ in the traditional Adelaide Oval venue.
The Indians are due to play Tests in Australia next summer and 12 months before that Paine has kicked off a war of words, even if it’s not quite psychological warfare as yet. Even more cheekily, Paine said at the Gabba on Sunday, “We’ll ask Virat and see if we can get his permission to play here and even get a pink ball Test if he’s in a good mood.”
The suggestion is as the big bully of international cricket, Team India can pick and choose where and when to play.
“We’ll certainly be trying to play the first match there, we’ll have to run that by Virat. We’ll get an answer from him at some stage, I’m sure,” Paine went on to say with a flow of vitriol.
After beating Bangladesh, skipper Kohli said India were open to playing a day-night Test in Australia.
Team India is a runaway leader now in the world Test championship, but the tough games and series are yet to begin whereas India have played in the West Indies and then at home beating both South Africa and Bangladesh by huge margins. Australia are second after the win over Pakistan. While India may have a seemingly unassailable lead, the big challenges are yet to meet and they all lie in the future, like playing in Australia and England, and South Africa too.