As the India-Australia series draws closer, the talking points seem to converge on a single battle – that between Virat Kohli and the Aussie bowlers.

Opinions on the Australian approach has come in from all corners – current and former players alike. While South African skipper Faf Du Plessis has advised Australia to give Kohli the 'silent treatment', former Aussie captain Michael Clarke is firmly on the 'verbal confrontation' train.

In this growing debate between 'sledge or not to sledge', Australian captain Tim Paine has maintained his non-committal stance with his words indicating a situation-wise reaction.

Virat Kohli
Paine believes Kohli will struggle against his bowlersCameron Spencer/Getty Images

Speaking to, Paine said that the pacers can trouble Kohli purely based on skill and that they will need to guard against getting emotional in their speech.

"I think our fast bowling attack ... if they play purely on skill, they're going to trouble him," Paine told

"At times when we get too emotional, we can lose our way a little bit. So it's a really fine line. There's going to be times when they're going to get a bit fiery, I'm sure. But we need to be mindful of keeping ourselves calm enough so we can execute our skills as well," he added.

In line with his previous statements on 'crossing the line' with regards to aggression, Paine said that there will be times when his team will get verbal but they need to pick the correct moment to talk their end of the tripe.

"He's certainly someone who, from what I've seen, enjoys getting into that sort of stuff," Paine said of Kohli.

"We'll just play it by ear; if there's a time when we think we need to have a word with him, I'm sure we will. If there's other times when we feel like we're bowling well against him and are troubling him, then you don't have to do it.

"It's just about picking your time and picking your moment and doing what the team requires."

Mitchell Starc, India vs Australia, India cricket, R Ashwin
Mitchell Starc.Reuters

Paine believes that if someone wants to go head-to-head with Kohli, they have to go with their life.

"I think it's important that guys play the way that suits them. If you're someone who likes to get into a contest one-on-one with someone like Virat, then go for your life.

"But I don't think it needs to be over the top and I don't think guys who aren't normally like that need to start doing it."

Kohli averages 62 in eight previous Tests in Australia but managed just 46 runs in three Tests when the two sides met in India last year and will thus be eager to pile on the runs in the upcoming four-match series.