Australia Test captain Tim Paine has opened up on his perceived personal equation with India counterpart Virat Kohli saying there’s not relationship between the duo. Kohli and Paine have been involved in heated verbal duels with the duo coming close to chest bumping the last time India were in Australia for a Test series in 2018-19.

During that tour, Paine, after being miffed with Kohli’s aggression, was heard questioning Murali Vijay about how he can like his captain as an individual.

“I get asked a log of questions about Virat Kohli, he is just another player to me it does not really bother me. There is not really a relationship there with him to be fair, I see him at the toss and play against him and that’s about it,” Paine said in an interview to ABC Sport.

Kohli is widely regarded as one of the finest batsmen to have played the game, a fact which Paine acknowledges as well. However, he, expectedly, doesn’t like the Indian to score too many runs against his team despite liking his batting.

“With Virat, it is a funny one, we love to hate him but we also love to watch him bat as cricket fans. He certainly is polarising in that type of scenario. We love watching him bat, but we don’t like seeing him score too many runs,” Paine said.

He also cleared that Australia doesn’t reserve their aggression for Kohli alone.

“Australia and India, it is a heated competition and he is obviously a competitive person and so am I. There were a few occasions when we had words, but that wasn’t because he was the captain and I was the captain. It could have been anyone,” Paine said.

“There is always a bit more tension when a player is as good as he is. It’s the same when you play against England, it’s Joe Root or a Ben Stokes. It’s often the best player is the one that your team goes up a little bit, the intensity goes up when the best players in the world come out to the crease,” he added.

India will begin their tour of Australia from November 27 with a three-match ODI series followed three T20Is.

The Tests will get underway from December 17 but Kohli will return home after the first red-ball game in Adelaide to be with his pregnant wife.