The prospect of securing million dollar IPL deals made the Australia cricketers “soft” and they “sucked up” to Virat Kohli and India during the Test series at home, feels former Australia captain Michael Clarke.
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, said Clarke, reports Cricbuzz.
Speaking on Big Sports Breakfast, Clarke said: “Everybody knows how powerful India are 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.”
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.
Clarke, who had previously represented Pune Warriors in the IPL, felt Australia were out of character during the Test series. “Name a list of ten players and they are bidding for these Australian players to get into their IPL team,” Clarke said.
“The players were like: 'I'm not going to sledge Kohli, I want him to pick me for Bangalore so I can make my $1 million US for my six weeks. I feel like that's where Australia went through that little phase where our cricket became a little bit softer or not as hard as we're accustomed to seeing.”