Best player vs stand-in skipper: BCCI denies Virat Kohli made controversial remark

India captain Virat Kohli sits on the players bench at the end of 2nd Test match against Australia in Perth

India captain Virat Kohli sits on the players bench at the end of 2nd Test match against Australia in Perth

However, it all didn't look great when Indian skipper Virat Kohli and Australian skipper Tim Paine came face-to-face. That suggests no remark was made within the range of the stump microphones, but does not definitively prove it was not said.

"The BCCI got a clarification from the team management about the incident and would like to classify the reports as baseless". "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 said in an official statement.

It's believed Team India had also denied there had been a bust-up between Ishant Sharma and Ravindra Jadeja, unaware footage of the confrontation had been captured.

After the ball-tampering scandal, Australia's on-field behaviour was sharply criticised by some commentators who have been critical of the team's history of sledging, or insulting opposition players.

Australia were the team which had their on-field behaviour under the microscope a fortnight ago, but now their opponents are the ones being scrutinised. We are really passionate about playing for Australia and we are certainly not going to sit back and be walked all over. If India don't win the Test series, then we need to think what needs to change, change from the top. 330 on that pitch we felt was a bit too much. It's a real focus for us to bat for a long period of time.

"We had the belief we could do it, but they were more relentless and put us in trouble".

New Zealand have confirmed that they will return to the MCG for the first time since 1987-88, while the first Test of the series is likely to start on Friday, December 13.

"A lot of those players can come back and play domestic cricket which will not only embellish our domestic cricket, lift the standard of our domestic cricket but also give these guys, unlikely to be picked in the Test matches, an opportunity to regain form and make a case for getting back in the team", he added. I was really happy with the competitive, hard style of cricket we played.

India lost the 2nd Test by 146 runs on the fifth and final day.

Australia's second innings had been ended by some terrifying short bowling on day four and Starc struck back with a frightening spell of his own, hitting Umesh Yadav (2) in the helmet before claiming a caught and bowled as the number eight tried to protect himself.

Ex-India pacer Praveen Kumar could not agree more with Zaheer.

"It's something that I think our tail takes a lot of pride in".

"You can't say that people aren't going to try and get you out in any way possible at all".

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