Michael Clarke believes Australia have ‘sucked up’ to India in recent years and been ‘too scared’ to sledge Virat Kohli’s side due to the Indian Premier League.
At the start of last year, India beat the Baggy Greens 2-1 to clinch their first Test series victory in Australia.
Clarke felt that during the series the hosts became ‘a lot softer’ as a result of the IPL, the most lucrative and successful T20 franchise tournament in the world.
The former Australia captain said on the Big Sports Breakfast radio show: ‘Everybody knows how powerful India are in regards to the financial part of the game, whether that be internationally or domestically in regards to the IPL.
‘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.
‘And they wanted… if Kohli is the captain in the IPL, Rohit Sharma is the captain in the IPL, you know, name a list of ten 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 million US (dollars) 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.’
Kohli addressed the topic of whether the IPL has made international cricket less confrontational and more respectful recently.
Speaking on Instagram Live, the India captain said: ‘The IPL has done a lot in terms of respecting each other.
‘I would never ever be able to do it [sledging] to [South Africa batsman] AB de Villiers. There is a friendship that lasts much longer than all these things.’
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