Sit­ting on a tin­der­box

Sport360 - - Rugby Rugby Championship -

In­dia-Aus­tralia matches are not about just cricket any­more. Play­ers on both sides have en­gaged in some nasty ver­bal and psy­cho­log­i­cal bat­tles over the years and the bad blood now reg­u­larly spills out­side the field. Here Ajit Vi­jayku­mar takes a look at four such un­savoury in­ci­dents, in­volv­ing cur­rent play­ers, that are likely to stay in the back of the minds of both teams when they clash dur­ing the five-match ODI se­ries which be­gins in Chen­nai to­day.

Brain fade

The Test se­ries between the sides ear­lier in the year was one of the most in­tense bat­tles in re­cent times. How­ever, the re­sult was over­shad­owed by a dra­matic de­te­ri­o­ra­tion of re­la­tions between the sides. The most sig­nif­i­cant in­ci­dent was Steve Smith’s ‘brain fade’ mo­ment when he looked up to the dress­ing room dur­ing the Ban­ga­lore Test af­ter be­ing given out lbw, seek­ing the help of the dress­ing room on tak­ing a re­view. In­dia protested

ve­he­mently and Kohli later ac­cused the Aussies of sys­tem­at­i­cally un­der­min­ing the De­ci­sion Re­view Sys­tem.

Cheat jibe

The Test se­ries ear­lier this year saw another ma­jor flash­point when Smith lost his cool in the dress­ing room and was caught on cam­era mouthing ‘cheat’ af­ter Mu­rali Vi­jay claimed a catch that was later deemed not out. Af­ter the se­ries fin­ished, Smith ad­mit­ted he had lost con­trol of his emo­tions and even apol­o­gised for it. How­ever, Kohli de­clared

he wouldn’t con­sider Aus­tralian play­ers as his ‘friends’ in the fu­ture.

‘Speak English’

Aus­tralian opener David Warner was fined 50 per cent of his match fee dur­ing an ODI tri-se­ries match in Aus­tralia in 2015 af­ter he got into an al­ter­ca­tion with In­dian bats­man Ro­hit Sharma and asked his op­po­nent to “speak English” as the two had a go at each other. The late New Zealand cap­tain Martin Crowe wrote in his col­umn that Warner had gone too

far and should be banned if his be­hav­iour con­tin­ued.

Dhawan mocks Wat­son

In­dia opener Shikhar Dhawan, who won’t fea­ture in the first three ODIs but is likely to play in the se­ries some­time later, had gar­nered wide­spread crit­i­cism dur­ing an ODI in Ban­ga­lore in 2013 for mock­ing Shane Wat­son by mim­ick­ing the Aussie’s ham­string in­jury. Dhawan hob­bled around the field in an ex­ag­ger­ated fash­ion, which didn’t please the then cap­tain MS Dhoni one bit.

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