The Tim Paine-Virat Kohli rivalry was a big talking point when Australia met India last time at home, however, Paine feels that Virat is just another player and Aussies love to hate him. Indian skipper is all set to miss three games of the four-match Test series as he will be on paternity leave.
Last time when India toured Australia, Virat Kohli was all over the Kangaroos psychologically, playing the mental disintegration game to perfection, which was also like never seen before because Australia are generally the ones dominating. But, since they were just emerging out of the shadows of the infamous ball-tampering scandal, they were apprehensive about chirping. But then Tim Paine decided to give it back to Kohli and co. in his own gentlemanly manner and it gave birth to a new rivalry between the two skippers.
Given Virat's stature in international cricket, which is humongous owing to his on-field records and off-field popularity, he can get to your head. But Aussie skipper Tim Paine wants to think of him as just another player. He stated that their relationship is only limited to seeing each other at the toss and playing against one another.
"I get asked a lot of questions about him, he's just another player to me it doesn't really bother me. There's not really a relationship there with him to be fair, I see him at the toss and play against him and that's about it," Paine told ABC Sport.
"With Virat it is a funny one, we love to hate him but we also love to watch him bat as cricket fans. He certainly is polarizing in that type of scenario. We love watching him bat, but we don't like seeing him score too many runs."
He also outlined that the India-Aussie rivalry is a rather heated one but he would have acted the same way with anyone else as he did last time with Kohli when these two sides clashed.
"Australia and India, it's a heated competition and he's obviously a competitive person and so am I, so yeah there were a few occasions when we had words but that wasn't because he was the captain and I was the captain, it could have been anyone," Paine said.
Paine also asserted that tensions flare when you lock horns with the best of the world like Joe Root, Kohli or Stokes.
"There is always a bit more tension when a player is as good as he is, it's the same when you play against England, its Joe Root or a Ben Stokes," Paine said.
"It's often the best player is the one that your team goes up a little bit, the intensity goes up when the best players in the world come out to the crease."
The Border-Gavaskar trophy will commence from 17th December in Adelaide followed by Tests in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. Last time in 2018, India had defeated Australia 2-1. Paine reckons it is going to be a huge series and said the team is excited about the prospect of testing themselves against the best.
"I'm looking forward to everything to be honest, it's a huge series. They beat us here last time obviously with a different team, and as I said the rivalry between the two countries building all the time.
"I think any time you get to test yourself against the best is something that you look forward to as players and as a team, and we certainly are," Paine added.