• Clarke: Australia sucked up to India

    Former captain Michael Clarke has insisted Australia were ‘too scared’ to sledge India during 2018-19 Test series.

    The Australians lost that series 2-1 against a visiting team laden with influential Indian Premier League stars, including Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli and Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma.

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    ‘Everybody knows how powerful India are in regard to the financial part of the game, whether that be internationally or domestically in regard to the IPL,’ Clarke told Big Sports Breakfast.

    ‘So, I feel Australian cricket, and probably every other team, over a little period went the opposite – actually sucked up to India. They were too scared to sledge Kohli or sledge the Indian players because they had to go and play with them in April.

    ‘If Kohli is the captain in the IPL, Rohit is the captain in the IPL, you know, name a list of 10 players, they are bidding for these Australian players to get into their IPL team. So the players are like, “Well, I’m not going to sledge Kohli, I want him to pick me for Royal Challengers Bangalore, so I can make, you know, a US$1 million for my six weeks.”

    ‘And I sort of feel that was where Australia went through that little phase of our cricket, became a lot softer or not as hard as what we’re accustomed to seeing.’

    Clarke had a brief spell in the IPL, with the Pune Warriors which has since disbanded. The start of this year’s edition of the IPL has been delayed from 29 March to 15 April as a preventative measure against the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

    Photo: Gallo Images

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