Australian captain Tim Paine has a long memory.
Australia aren’t even playing India but the skipper hasn’t forgotten last years’ series when Kohli reportedly labelled Paine a “stand-in captain”.
While Paine had been known for his gentle sledges, including his latest one this week, Paine saved a job for Kohli when he said to Murali Vijay “I know he’s your captain, but you can’t seriously like him as a bloke — you couldn’t possibly like him” in bitter Perth Test last year.
Stream the Australia v Pakistan Test Series Live & Ad-Break Free During Play with KAYO SPORTS. Get your 14-day free trial & start streaming instantly >
India went on to win the series, for the first time defeating Australia in Australia.
But a dispute had stuck in Australia’s craw throughout the series after India campaigned to play in either Perth or Brisbane but not both.
Cricket Australia buckled and pushed the Brisbane Test to January for the Sri Lankan Test, starting the summer in Adelaide — a Test match India won.
India have never won at the Gabba and Australia famously stretched its streak to 31 Tests and 31 years since its last loss at the ground.
Paine was asked post-match whether Australia would like to kick of next summer at the Gabba, dropping his sledge against Kohli.
“Yeah, well, we’ll be certainly trying. We’ll have to run that by Virat,” Paine said. “We’ll get an answer from him at some stage I’m sure.”
“(The Gabba is) where we like to start our summer, and it has been for a long, long time except for last summer. So as I said, we’ll ask Virat. See if we can get his permission to play here.
“And maybe even get a pink-ball test if he’s in a good mood.”
India have long been against playing a pink ball Test match — but their mood may have changed after their first foray into the format.
India claimed an innings and 46 run win in just two and a half days against Bangladesh with Kohli scoring 136.
“It has been an amazing crowd,” Kohli said. “We had the chance to finish things early today and yet the crowd turned up in great numbers. It sets a great example.”
But those comments also came after he savaged the format before the match.
“In my opinion, this should not become the only way Test cricket is played,” he told reporters ahead of the second and final Test against Bangladesh.
“Because then you are losing out on that nervousness of the first session in the morning.
“You can bring excitement into Test cricket but you can’t purely make Test cricket based on just entertainment.
“Entertainment of Test cricket lies in the fact that a batsman is trying to survive a session and the bowler is trying to set a batsman out. If people don’t respond to that, too bad.”
While the Gabba has been a happy hunting ground for Australia and also hosted two day-night Test matches, the ground has been under fire after the ground attracted only 45,991 spectators across the four days.
It’s a bad look with the Gabba a 42,000-person capacity stadium and crowds have been down over the past few years.
But Paine admitted Australia were eager to keep Brisbane a big part of the future.
“We like playing here. Australian teams have bowled and batted well here for a long time,” Paine said. “We’d like to start here against anyone. Having said that, it doesn’t win us games of cricket. We win here because we outplay the opposition. That doesn’t’ change depending on the venue.
“We enjoy playing here, which allows (us) to settle into games here a little quicker.”
Earlier this week, Shane Warne demanded the start of every summer to take place at the Gabba.
Australia legend Adam Gilchrist told Fox Cricket’s Cricket360 agreed.
“31 years of dominance, and all this talk of should the Gabba have the first Test of the summer I think you’re clearly hearing it bellowed from the Australians that we want it here,” he said. “All week we’ve been hearing it, they just love playing here. Growing up, I always thought the Brisbane Test match, the smell of the freshly cut grass, the sunshine, that signifies summer time in Australia.”
Former England skipper Michael Vaughan said Cricket Australia should stand by the stadium.
“I totally agree, sometimes in cricket, the pound signs, the dollar signs will always lead to a venue being chosen and a deal being taken, sometimes you have to put cricket at the top of your list as well,” Vaughan admitted. “If I was head of Australian cricket, this is the venue I would start the summer at purely for the reasons that the opposing teams, there is something about this place that intimidates the opposing team, it’s the pitch, it’s everything around, the crowd, I know there hasn’t been a huge crowd this week but there’s been enough to make sure they were intimidating the Pakistan team.”