NEW DELHI: Michael Clarke’s claims that Australian players “sucked up” to India and Virat Kohli to secure lucrative deals in the country’s premier league are ridiculous, say former top Indian cricketers.
Clarke said last week that Australians were “too scared to sledge” skipper Kohli or other Indian players because of the influence of the world’s wealthiest Twenty20 tournament.
This year’s Indian Premier League has been postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic and may not be held at all.
“Just by being nice to someone doesn’t get you a place in IPL,” VVS Laxman, an advisor to the Sunrisers Hyderabad team, told Indian broadcaster Star Sports.
Teams look at a “player’s calibre and value” to win matches, he said.
Krishnamachari Srikkanth, a former India captain and chief selector, said “you do not win matches just by sledging”, referring to the on-field banter between players.
“His statement was ridiculous I would say,” he added.
“If you ask Nasser Hussain or Sir Vivian Richards – who are experienced players – you can never score runs or get wickets through sledging.
“Australia captain Tim Paine has also rejected his predecessor’s assertion that some Australians went soft on Kohli during their 2018-19 encounters.