Australia v India: Paine wins battle of the captains with Kohli at Perth

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Paine had the last laugh in the battle of the skippers.

The two skippers were in focus as Australia completed a 146-run win over India in the second Test at Perth to level the series at 1-1.

The verbal and almost a physical confrontation between Tim Paine and Virat Kohli on days three and four took centre stage in Australia’s commanding win.

Following their fractious on-field battle, we break down the performance of the two skippers at Perth.

TEAM SELECTION

Winner – Tim Paine

The Aussie skipper wins this battle hands down for not tinkering with his playing XI despite the loss at Adelaide. The wicketkeeper-batsman refrained from triggering the changes and it paid off with the likes of Marcus Harris coming good.

The only selection error from Australia can be put down to Peter Handscomb’s inclusion whose poor technique seems to have been figured out by bowlers at the international level.

Kohli, on the other hand, goofed up big time with his team selection by not choosing to play a specialist spinner. His decision to pick Umesh Yadav over Bhuvneshwar Kumar was also a baffling one.

Kohli erred by failing to field a spinner.

Kohli erred by failing to field a spinner.

INDIVIDUAL PERFORMANCE

Winner – Virat Kohli

Despite Kohli crafting a masterful ton in the first innings, he has only shaded this battle with Paine chipping in with important contributions in both innings.

Kohli was brilliant in his 123-run masterclass in the first innings after India were reeling at 8-2 and his century helped the visitors regain a footing in the match. The India skipper’s stay did not last too long in the second innings on a treacherous pitch with Nathan Lyon getting his number for the seventh time.

Paine, meanwhile, made two identically equal contributions of 38 and 37 with the bat while shepherding the tail in both instances. He was also excellent for Australia behind the stumps with six catches to his credit.

Kohli constructed one of his finest overseas tons.

Kohli constructed one of his finest overseas tons.

MATCH LEADERSHIP

Winner – Tim Paine

When it comes to the captaincy performance of the pair on the field, it is once again the Aussie who came out trumps with some astute leadership.

Paine’s field placements and bowling changes were on point throughout the Test, particularly on the final day. He navigated his field brilliantly when Rishabh Pant was batting with the tail to starve the India wicketkeeper-batsman off any easy reasons.

The same cannot be said of Kohli who allowed Australia’s tail to wag in both innings. Some of his field settings while bowling to the Aussie lower-order were extremely questionable. Umesh having a nightmare of a Test did not help his cause either.

Paine marshalled his men excellently.

Paine marshalled his men excellently.

BATTLE OF WORDS

Winner – Tim Paine

Australia’s build up to the series had been all about wanting to implement a new cricket culture following the blowout from the ball-tampering scandal. However, with Kohli leading the opposition, reaching the boiling point was inevitable and that was exactly what happened on days three and four.

It was clear that Paine got under the skin of Kohli with his on-field confrontation and that duel sparked the aggression back into the Aussies who had been trying to act like polite schoolboys for far too long.

It was just the needle Australia needed after falling behind in the series and it has set up the series nicely with two matches to play.

Paine got one over Kohli in the mind games department.

Paine got one over Kohli in the mind games department.

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