Former Australian Captain & veteran batsman Michael Clarke has hit out at his compatriots over their soft behaviour against Kohli & other Indian players. Speaking on Big Sports Breakfast, Clarke said instead of sledging them, the players in fact “sucked up” to them in order to protect their lucrative IPL deals.

The Pup said, “Everybody knows how powerful India is in regards to the financial part of the game, internationally or domestically with the IPL. 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 because they had to play with them in April. I feel like that’s where Australia went through that little phase where our cricket become a little bit softer or not as hard as we’re accustomed to seeing”. He thinks the 2-1 Test series loss to India, when they were without Steven Smith and David Warner, was a phase in Australian cricket when the players were too scared to have a go at the Indian captain.

In the IPL auction that took place in December 2019, Pat Cummins was picked up by the Kolkata Knight Riders for a record sum of INR 15.5 Crore – becoming the most expensive overseas buy – while Glenn Maxwell went to Kings XI Punjab for INR 10.75 Crore. Nathan Coulter-Nile (INR 8 Crore to Mumbai Indians) was another Australian who commanded a big price. Marcus Stoinis (INR 4.8 Crore to Delhi Capitals) Aaron Finch (INR 4.4 Crore to Royal Challengers Bangalore) Kane Richardson (INR 4 Crore to RCB), Alex Carey (INR 2.4 Crore to DC), Mitchell Marsh (INR 2 Crore to Sunrisers Hyderabad), Josh Hazlewood (INR 2 Crore to Chennai Super Kings), Andrew Tye (INR 1 Crore to Rajasthan Royals) Chris Green (INR 20 Lakh to KKR), Josh Philippe (INR 20 Lakh to RCB) were among other Australians who found takers in the auction.

India and Australia have always enjoyed fiery on-field chemistry with the two teams engaging in many verbal wars in the past. The infamous ‘Monkey gate’ in 2008 is considered the lowest point between the two powerhouses.