Pat Cummins responds in disagreement with Clarke's "sucking up" to Kohli comment 

Former skipper Michael Clarke had made controversial remarks on the Australian team's behaviour.

Pat Cummins came in defense of the Australian side | GettyFormer Australia skipper Michael Clarke recently made a controversial remark on the national side, suggesting that the Aussies went too soft when Virat Kohli-led Indian team came visiting down under during the 2018-19 summer in order to save their IPL contracts. 

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"Everybody knows how powerful India are in regards to the financial part of the game, internationally or domestically with the IPL," Clarke said on Big Sports Breakfast.

"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."

The comment that they "sucked up" to Kohli and his men, however, didn't go down well with fast bowler Pat Cummins, who reminded Clarke how the team was determined to keep their overall behaviour in check, not to go too aggressively just months after the ball-tampering incident in South Africa. 

There was a huge media uproar that season over the cricketing culture in Australia following bans on Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft for their role in the Newlands scandal. And the players felt the moral responsibility to ensure the values attached to the idea of playing hard but fair are strongly uphold. 

"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 BBC about the Test series Australia lost 2-1. 

"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."

Neither was skipper Tim Paine too happy with Clarke's comment. Paine reiterated there was a genuine effort from his side not to engage in too much of sledging with Kohli, because that could come back to haunt given the great batsman he is, but it was never about salvaging their IPL contracts, as claimed by Clarke. 

"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 told 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."

(Inputs from India Today)


By Kashish Chadha - 10 Apr, 2020

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