A day after Australia Test captain Tim Paine rubbished former Aussie skipper Michael Clarke’s comments that the team ‘sucked up to India’ and refrained from sledging India captain Virat Kohli to save their IPL contracts, his deputy Pat Cummins echoed the same comments. While Paine had said that he did not notice any Australia player going soft at Kohli and his Indian teammates, according to Cummins the players were only playing ‘less aggressively’ due to the repercussions of the ball-tampering scandal that had dented the image of the country and not because they were keen on mentioning a friendly relation with the Indian players. Bangladesh vs Australia Two-Match Test Series Postponed Over Coronavirus Concerns.
Cummins, who became the costliest foreign player at the IPL 2020 players auctions when he was bought for Rs 15.5 crore by the Kolkata Knight Riders, said that it was important that the cricket team took a different approach following the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa. Interestingly, Australia went on to lose their first-ever Test series at home to India in the same Test series with Kohli and his men scripting history by clinching a 2-1 series win.
"I think probably a bigger factor was six months before leading into that Indian series the media and everyone commentating on the Aussie cricket team were pretty clear in their direction in the way they wanted the Aussies team to go and that was playing a little bit less aggressively out on the field," Cummins told the BBC. "I'd say that would have been a bigger factor than trying to win or lose friends out on the cricket field. But you never know, that might have been a factor for some players,” he added.
Cummins’ remarks came after Clarke had earlier caused a stir by saying that the Australia players did not sledge Kohli and the Indian team because they were too worried about their IPL contracts. “Everybody knows how powerful India are in regards to the financial part of the game, internationally or domestically with the IPL,” Clarke has said. “I feel that Australian cricket, and probably every other team over a little period, went the opposite and actually sucked up to India. They were too scared to sledge Kohli or the other Indian players because they had to play with them in April,”
But reacting to his comments Paine had said that he wasn’t sure on who was going easy on Kohli and the Indian team. "I'm not sure who was going easy on him; we certainly had a thing where we didn't want to provoke any fight with him because we think that's when he plays at his best," Paine had told the ESPNCricinfo. "But anytime our guys go out and play a Test match for Australia, they'll be giving their absolute all and I'm pretty sure they're not thinking about an IPL contract when they're running in, bowling to Virat."