Another intriguing development in the Paine-Kohli saga has emerged in the form of a BCCI statement rubbishing a supposed boast made by Virat Kohli upon his arrival at the crease in Perth.
The statement read: “It is ‘assumed’ that Kohli said, ‘I am the best player in the world and you are just a stand-in captain’.
“These claims were based on hearsay and the BCCI would like to bring into notice that no such words were spoken on the field by the Indian captain. The BCCI got a clarification from the team management about the incident and would like to classify the reports as baseless.”
This statement is contrary to claims originally made by Robert Craddock, an Australian sports writer for Cricket 360, who revealed among other things the ‘best player in the world’ jibe as allegedly spoken by the Indian captain.
Kohli’s professed comment, whether truthful or not, is only a small part of the ongoing conflict during the Perth Test, whereby on-field ‘conversation’ (in the crudest sense of the word) was prevalent between Kohli and Paine.
Both men have been quick to deny any accusations of personal insults after the conclusion of the Test, acknowledging that the competitive nature of Test cricket lends itself to occasional confrontation.
Yet the defensive statement made by the BCCI is curious in its opposition to the general consensus and does little to clear up any confusion regarding the personal battle between the captains.