Perth - Rival captains Tim Paine and Virat Kohli on Tuesday
played down their heated exchanges which prompted intervention from the umpire
during the second Test between Australia and India.
Australia won by 146 runs for their first Test victory since
a ball-tampering scandal in March, which triggered a damning review of a
win-at-all-costs team culture.
Much attention centred on exchanges between Kohli and Paine
on the third and fourth days, which were picked up by stump microphones and
prompted umpire Chris Gaffaney to warn the pair to "play the game".
But Kohli, one of the most animated players in world
cricket, said there was nothing to worry about in what was said during the
"As long as there is no swearing the line doesn't get
crossed," he said. "And no personal attacks."
The Indian captain described the exchanges as competitive
"Stump mics and cameras... these things are totally
irrelevant," he said. "It stays on the field."
He added that the remarks in Perth were nothing compared to
their Australian tour in 2014, when he claimed to have been called a
Paine also said his sparring with Kohli did not get out of
hand, adding that he admired his opposite number's passion for Test cricket.
"It was a highly competitive Test match from both teams
and there was a lot on the line, with both teams desperately wanting to
win," Paine said.
"It (Kohli's behaviour) was not (worrying) to me, I
love it and I'm sure it was great to watch."
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.
But Paine said he was pleased with the competitive spirit
his team showed in Perth.
"At some point you have got to draw a line and start
sticking up for yourself and your team-mates," he said.
"We are all very passionate about playing Test cricket
"I was really proud of the way our team conducted
itself on the field this week."